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Home Directory Service

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Macintosh Users

If you have a question that this document does not address, please contact the UVA Help Desk.

Available Space

Error Messages

Unexpected File Names

Accessing Home Directory

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How much storage space do I have available in my Home Directory account?
All users of the Home Directory Service—undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff—have a maximum quota of 4 Gigabytes (GB) of space on Home Directory.
I'm getting an error message that my file cannot be written because a disk error occurred. What's the problem?
Most likely, adding this file puts you over your quota limit on Home Directory. You either need to compress the file or remove some items from your Home Directory account. Alternatively, you can ask ITS to increase your disk quota by emailing your request to
I'm getting an error message that I have an invalid file name error. What's the problem?
The most likely culprit is that you have lost your connection to the Home Directory server between saves. If you reconnect to your Home Directory, the error will probably disappear.
Why do I have .AppleDouble directories?
Any time you access your Home Directory on a Macintosh computer, the system automatcially creates .AppleDouble listings inside each directory you accessed. These do take up a small amount of your quota limit (about 2 percent). To save space when you're not on a Mac, you may delete these directories without affecting your files stored on Home Directory. The next time, however, you access your Home Directory on a Mac, the system will recreate these directories. They are necessary for Home Directory to work with Macs.
I see lots of files that begin with a dot—for instance, .forward. Can I delete such files?
No! These files are important files that UNIX systems use for your default settings. Because your Home Directory is shared between files used for Web publishing and other access methods, you see files created for those other systems. The standard behavior for UNIX systems is to place files, used to hold configuration and startup information for your account, in files beginning with a dot. Removing these files could have unexpected consequences. The .forward file, for example, keeps your mail going to the correct server. Since the files use very little space, you should definitely leave them in place.
I'm having trouble connecting to Home Directory. What's wrong?
  • You may not have a Home Directory account. In order to have an account: If you have not completed these steps, you will lack a Home Directory account and will be unable to log in successfully.
  • If you are off Grounds, check to see if you logged in first to UVaAnywhere, the VPN client. If you don't have UVaAnywhere, go to the UVA Software Gateway, identify your operating system, and download and install the version of the software you need. You will also need a certificate, and you will see the option to obtain one on the VPN download page.
  • If the error message indicates your login and/or password is incorrect, check the login box to ensure your UVA computing ID, for example, mst3k, is correctly entered, with no typos.
    • Remember that your login must also be ESERVICES\ followed by your UVA login ID (for example: ESERVICES\mst3k if your computing ID were mst3k).
  • Are you using your UVA password?
  • You may have another firewall blocking your access to Home Directory (for example, ZoneAlarm). Turn off any other firewall you installed in order to enable the VPN and Home Directory.
  • Check your Internet connection to ensure it is "live." If your computer has been on for a long time, you may need to reboot and reconnect.
  • If you were working on a PC and are now on a Macintosh, you must use the SMB and not the AFP option.

  Page Updated: Friday 2018-06-22 15:16:28 EDT