Deleting an Isilon folder – Operation not permitted

Deleting an Isilon folder - Operation not permittedWhen deleting an Isilon folder, you might come across some peculiar behavior. When browsing with a file explorer to an SMB share and deleting a folder, the operation apparently succeeds and the folder disappears. When refreshing the share however, the folder is back. Resorting to an SSH session to delete the folder, you get an Operation not permitted error and the rm/rmdir command fails.

The error wil also be displayed in /var/log/messages in the following format:

Attempt to remove directory LIN <number> with quota domains still defined on it, operation not permitted.

The explanation is relatively simple: you’ve probably defined a SmartQuota on that specific folder. The key component here is “specific folder”: if you’ve defined a quota on /ifs/data/customer/ and you try deleting /ifs/data/customer/subfolder, this will never be blocked by a SmartQuota.

Check your SmartQuotas, either via GUI:

Isilon Folder SmartQuota

Or by running the following CLI command: isi quota quotas list
I find the latter being simpler, since the GUI does not display long directory names correctly (you’re unable to widen the directory column to make it actually readable). A CLI command is much easier to grep; in this case “isi quota quotas list | grep temp-database” would instantly show me the correct quota.

The solution is even simpler: remove the SmartQuota from the folder. Either via the GUI again, or via CLI:
isi quota delete –directory –path=/ifs/data/supersecretcustomer/temp-database

You should now be able to delete the folder.