High Disk Usage with VIRTFS

We have heard a lot about VirtFS disk consumption issues while checking the disk usage in cPanel server. VirtFS in cPanel/WHM is used to allot a jailed shell environment for users who can access the server through SSH. This environment acts as a container for the user and will not allow the user to access other cPanel account’s home directories on the server. Unlike a normal shell, jailed shell environment has increased security and ability to run commands like crontab and passwd which are not allowed in the normal shell environment.

You can enable jail shell access to a cPanel user by logging into WHM and choose the Manage Shell Access option. The directory structure created when a user accesses jail shell is /home/virtfs/user.

The high disk usage issues with VirtFS commonly occurs when any cPanel user which has access to jail shell for his account logins to the shell and fails to properly log out from his session. Since the bind (virtual) mount for his directory are recreated and not properly released, you must not directly remove any files under this folder structure (/home/virtfs/user) because it is hard linked to actual server directory structure and removing these may cause serious issues to the server.

In order to resolve this issue, we must first release the mount point for that user and kill all jailshell processes related to that user. Make sure there are no jailshell processes or mount points for that particular user. Then we must unmount all the files related to that user. After verifying that all mount points for that user are released, we can remove the contents present in the virtfs folder for that user.

Kindly be cautious not to delete the virtfs folder contents since it is hardlinked to the system files and will result in the entire operating system to become unstable. You can always get in touch with the Supportpro team and our expert techs are available 24X7 to handle such tasks with zero data loss.

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