What is an inode?
An inode represents a file-system object that contains information about the data stored on the server, such as files, directories, emails, etc. The number of files and directories that reside on the account equal the inodes used on the account.
Why are inodes limited?
When a file is read, open or written by the operating system, the file inodes is checked by the server, and the more files or directories are hosted on the account, the more inodes are used. On Hostpapa shared plans inodes are limited due to the number of resources the system requires to gather the data/locate the file from a large index table.
You can see the limits imposed depending on the plan on this page.
Exceeding the inodes limit
Once the inodes limit is reached, your account behaves in the same way as when the disk space limit is exceeded. Basically, you won’t be able to create/upload new files, receive emails, write data in the MySQL database, and your cPanel will show errors as no temporary files can be stored on your account anymore. You might also see your website down if the application used is doing continuous queries to the database, storing new data or if it requires to save new data in a temporary folder.
Resolving the issue
One of the ways to resolve the excessive inodes usage would be to upgrade to a higher plan to better accommodate your hosting account needs. For this, you need to get in touch with your account manager, or if you don’t have an assigned one, contact our support team.
The inode usage can also be reduced by removing files and directories from your account. Our Support Team can provide a breakdown of your inode usage as per folders, and you can then check and see if maybe you want to remove some files if these are no longer needed.
In cases when the inode usage is higher due to many incoming emails or many temporary/cache/session files – we recommend an upgrade to avoid reaching the limit again in future.