Web Hosting Secrets: Inodes

I bet most web hosting buyers have not heard of inodes. This is, after all, almost a rejection of a topic in the web hosting industry, since the technical term reveals the secrets of unlimited hosting services .

In fact, what is inode?

Detailed definition given in Wikipedia :

In computing, inode is a data structure in a traditional Unix-style file system, such as UFS. The inode stores basic information about a regular file, directory, or other file system object.

When a file system is created, data structures are created that contain information about the files. Each file has an inode index and is identified by an inode number (often called “i-number” or “inode”) in the file system in which it is located.

Inode stores information about files such as ownership of users and groups, access mode (read, write, execute permissions) and file type. In many types of file systems, the number of available inode files is fixed when the file system is created, which gives the maximum number of files that the file system can contain. Usually, when creating a file system, about 1% is allocated to inodes.

The term inode usually refers to inodes on block devices that manage regular files, directories, and possibly symbolic links. This concept is especially important for the recovery of damaged file systems.

In layman’s terms:

Each time a file is created or uploaded to the server, an inode is created. Just say, inode is the number of files on your web hosting.

Inodes and web hosting

You can see the unlimited hosting services offered everywhere, but you did not notice that all these offers come with security offers that are against the users of the hosting.

For example, an inode constraint is a good example of these provisions. To control server usage, inodes are often limited to web hosting providers. As a rule, a good web hosting service will offer up to hundreds of thousands of inode limits – which is usually more than enough. However, there are terrible hosting companies that suspend their account at 40,000 inodes. This lousy web host should be avoided at all costs, since their “unlimited offer” is nothing more than a marketing lie to trap customers.

Inodes restriction on reputable web hosting

As said, inodes restriction is a topic of failure that you can hardly get from a hosting company. Hostgator is so far the only web host I have known that has shown their inodes restriction.

Bluehost mentions an account lockout / throttle processor for overloading the CPU quota (but not inodes) ; Lunarpages talked about inodes, counting their wiki pages, but not mentioning anything specific; while for others I cannot find anything mentioned.

For example, this is what is written about inode in Hostinger ToS (learn more in our Hosting Review ).

How many inodes can you get with Hostgator hosting?

For Hostgator Baby Croc hosting plan, users get inoda 250,000. The hosting company also reports that if the inode in your account exceeds 50,000, the backup will be performed only on your weekly backup schedules. Static files will not be saved.

In case you ask a question, the inodes limit is indicated on the first page of your Hostgator panel. Scroll down a bit and you will see a bar (as shown in the small image above). By clicking “Distribution of readings in the window”, you will also see how to use your inodes index (classified by catalog, see the figure below).

Spreading Inodes on a Hostgator Hosting Account
Inode distribution in Hostgator account.

What does this mean for web hosting?

In essence, inodes 250,000 are more than sufficient for normal use. For your information, my Hostgator account (in which I hosted more than 10 sites) consumes inds 50,000. The rest of my inode’s capacity has not been used for years.

If you do not plan to run scripts or spam programs, you should not worry too much about inodes.

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