Linux - du (Disk Usage)


du is a disk usage tool that estimates file space usage by subfolder.

It exists also as Technet edition

  • Windows: cleanmgr.exe Free also the %temp% directory.


du [OPTION]... [FILE]...
du [OPTION]... --files0-from=F


Data Filtering

  • -a, –all: get info for all files, not just directories
  • --max-depth=N: print the total for a directory (or file, with --all) only if it is N or fewer levels below the command line argument; --max-depth=0 is the same as --summarize
  • -X FILE, --exclude-from=FILE: Exclude files that match any pattern in FILE.
  • --exclude=PATTERN Exclude files that match PATTERN.


  • -s, --summarize display only a total for each argument
  • -c, --total: produce a grand total


  • -S, --separate-dirs do not include size of subdirectories
  • --apparent-size: print apparent sizes, rather than disk usage; although the apparent size is usually smaller, it may be larger due to holes in (“sparse”) files, internal fragmentation, indirect blocks, and the like
  • -l, --count-links: show sizes many times if hard linked
  • -L, --dereference: dereference all symbolic links
  • -P, --no-dereference: don’t follow any symbolic links (this is the default)


  • --time show time of the last modification of any file in the directory, or any of its subdirectories
  • --time=WORD show time as WORD instead of modification time: atime, access, use, ctime or status
  • --time-style=STYLE show times using style STYLE:
    • full-iso,
    • long-iso,
    • iso,
    • +FORMAT FORMAT is interpreted like ‘date’
  • -0, --null: end each output line with 0 byte rather than newline
  • -h, --human-readable: print sizes in human readable format (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)
  • --si like -h, but use powers of 1000 not 1024
  • --block-size=SIZE: display the size as a multiple of SIZE. Shortcut
    • -b: bit --block-size=SIZE
    • -k: --block-size=1k
    • -m: --block-size=1M

Difference between du and df

du shows the space by file whereas df shows the space by block of file.

If there is a big difference in their output, try to see if some deleted file are not held by a process as open.

Example with linux and lsof

 lsof /device | grep -i deleted

Deleted Open File

If this is the case, you need to restart the process to reclaim this buffers.


Top space

To find the top space users in a directory

du -k | sort -n

Show larger than specified size

  • larger than 100MB
du -h -t 100M -a

get sizes of each file

du -a tmp
4       tmp/testFile.txt
8       tmp

get total size of a folder

  • with –max-depth=0
du --max-depth=0 ~
6167480 /home/oracle

  • with the s option
du -s ~
6167480 /home/oracle

get size of each sub folder

  • with –max-depth=1
du -h --max-depth=1

get sub-folder total size of containing files only (without sub-folder size)

$ du -Sc --max-depth=1 ~
8       /home/oracle/jos
20      /home/oracle/.ssh
20      /home/oracle/index_advisor
4       /home/oracle/.mozilla
345688  /home/oracle/112272_diag
36276   /home/oracle/.dropbox-dist
4       /home/oracle/.gconf
4       /home/oracle/.gnome
4       /home/oracle/.dbus
20      /home/oracle/.dropbox
4       /home/oracle/.gnome2
4       /home/oracle/.gnome2_private
4       /home/oracle/.java
20      /home/oracle/.vnc
400     /home/oracle/linux8664
8       /home/oracle/bea
8       /home/oracle/.gconfd
12      /home/oracle/oraInventory
173020  /home/oracle/crash
16      /home/oracle/.dropbox-master
256     /home/oracle/Dropbox
4       /home/oracle/.config
4       /home/oracle/oradiag_oracle
4842736 /home/oracle
6167480 total

Discover More
Bash Liste Des Attaques Ovh
Bash - Directory

directory management with bash. See To get the space by directory, you can use the du command. It summarize disk usage of each FILE, recursively for directories. With a redirection, you...
Undraw File Manager Re Ms29
File System - Analytics

See also: Every file system has a way to dump file system information. Disk usage Example on Linux with the find command to list information recursively where: Path: %p is the relative...
Linux - Disk Space

Linux - Disk Space
Deleted Open File
Linux - disk free command (df)

disk free command (df) is a storage function that can give you the free space. du shows the space by file whereas df shows the space by block of file. open lsof
Undraw File Manager Re Ms29
What are Disk Usage Tools? ( xdu tools)

xdu Disk Usage tools or (du tools) are application that permits to visualize, analyze a disk. Note that disk means a file system that can be: logical (ie in the cloud with buckets) or semi-physical...
Linux Performance Tools
What are the Metrics / Counters of Linux ?

This page is about the Hardware / Resource Performance Metrics management. They helps monitor the Linux System.

Share this page:
Follow us:
Task Runner