How to Make Your System Admin Mad by Creating Huge-Ass Files

Posted by Nessa | Posted in ,, | Posted on October 31, 2007

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So If you’ve ever woke up in the morning and asked yourself…”Hmm, how can I make my system admin’s job harder to the point where they get mad and shut down my server?” Well, lucky for you I can answer that question. All you have to do is use the ‘dd‘ command to write a 120gb file to an 80gb hard drive. That’s a winner.

By ‘dd’ I’m not talking about my bra size, people. It’s sad, but we recently had an over-curious customer try to see what would happen if the hard drive filled up on his dedicated server. You know what happens when you flush a clogged toilet? Yea….

So here’s the command:

dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=1024 count=125829120

This command will write a 120gb file directly to the disk. ‘of’ specifies the name of the output file, while ‘bs’ represents the size of a block and ‘count’ is how many blocks to create. Really, it’s a dangerous thing to do if you don’t know what you’re doing. Generally the only time I do this is when I’m testing large file support for servers and PHP.  Nevertheless, the sheer curiosity of ignorant users is enough for me to pull the power plug on a server.

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