How To Check Directory Size On Linux

August 3, 2017
Find out which directory occupy the most disk space, usually for cleanup purpose.

My linux machine is running out of disk space, and I want to check which directory is the culprit hogging the precious space.

Check directory size

LATEST: The best command is ncdu. I can easily identify the biggest directory and drill in to investigate further.

sudo apt-get install ncdu

Sample output.

    1.1 GiB [##########] /vue                                                   
    1.0 GiB [######### ] /google-cloud-sdk
  429.6 MiB [###       ] /python
  283.7 MiB [##        ] /node
  220.8 MiB [##        ] /google_appengine
  203.9 MiB [#         ] /php
  182.0 MiB [#         ] /hugo
  138.4 MiB [#         ] /webpack
  135.6 MiB [#         ] /cache
   81.0 MiB [          ] /data

du -sh * is the another command to show the size of files and directoies in the current directory.

sudo du -sh *
# Output
33M   brunch
136M  cache
4.8M  chrome
504M  data
2.9M  github
68M   go
17M   logs
752K  nginx-1.4.6.tar.gz
0     share.txt

du by default doesn’t show hidden files and directory. So you need the following command

du -sch .[!.]* * |sort -h

Check disk usage on Filesystem

Run df -h to check to show the status of each filesystem and file out which mounted directory is low on disk space.

df -h
# Output
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev            2.0G  4.0K  2.0G   1% /dev
tmpfs           396M  1.7M  394M   1% /run
/dev/sda5        14G   13G  601M  96% /
/dev/sdb1       5.8G  5.1G  462M  92% /media/disk02

I only have 2 main root directory, which is / and /media/disk02 and their usage is above 90%.

Old Linux Kernels in Ubuntu

Old linux kernel on Ubuntu could take up quite some disk space depending how many version are stored (each version is about 200-300MB). Don’t delete these files directly, refer to remove old linux kernel images.

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