Size of a folder in Linux

$ du


Typing the above at the prompt gives you a list of directories that exist in the current directory along with their sizes. The last line of the output gives you the total size of the current directory including its subdirectories. The size given includes the sizes of the files and the directories that exist in the current directory as well as all of its subdirectories. Note that by default the sizes given are in kilobytes.

$ du /home/david

The above command would give you the directory size of the directory /home/david

$ du -h


This command gives you a better output than the default one. The option '-h' stands for human readable format. So the sizes of the files / directories are this time suffixed with a 'k' if its kilobytes and 'M' if its Megabytes and 'G' if its Gigabytes.

$ du -ah

This command would display in its output, not only the directories but also all the files that are present in the current directory. Note that 'du' always counts all files and directories while giving the final size in the last line. But the '-a' displays the filenames along with the directory names in the output. '-h' is once again human readable format.

$ du -c

This gives you a grand total as the last line of the output. So if your directory occupies 30MB the last 2 lines of the output would be

30M .
30M total

The first line would be the default last line of the 'du' output indicating the total size of the directory and another line displaying the same size, followed by the string 'total'. This is helpful in case you this command along with the grep command to only display the final total size of a directory as shown below.

$ du -ch | grep total

This would have only one line in its output that displays the total size of the current directory including all the subdirectories.

Note : In case you are not familiar with pipes (which makes the above command possible) refer to Article No. 24 . Also grep is one of the most important commands in Unix. Refer to Article No. 25 to know more about grep.

$ du -s

This displays a summary of the directory size. It is the simplest way to know the total size of the current directory.

$ du -S

This would display the size of the current directory excluding the size of the subdirectories that exist within that directory. So it basically shows you the total size of all the files that exist in the current directory.

$ du --exculde=mp3

The above command would display the size of the current directory along with all its subdirectories, but it would exclude all the files having the given pattern present in their filenames. Thus in the above case if there happens to be any mp3 files within the current directory or any of its subdirectories, their size would not be included while calculating the total directory size.

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