How Do I Find The Largest Top 10 Files and Directories On a Linux / UNIX / BSD? Print this Article
Sometimes it is necessary to know what file(s) or directories are eating up all your disk space. Further, it may be required to find out it at the particular directory location on filesystem such as /tmp/ or /var/ or /home/. This guide will help you to use Unix and Linux command for finding the largest or biggest the files or directories on filesystem.
There is no simple command available to find out the largest files/directories on a Linux/UNIX/BSD filesystem. However, combination of following three commands (using pipes) you can easily find out list of largest files:
- du command : Estimate file space usage.
- sort command : Sort lines of text files or given input data.
- head command : Output the first part of files i.e. to display first 10 largest file.
- find command : Search file.
Type the following command at the shell prompt to find out top 10 largest file/directories:
# du -a /var | sort -n -r | head -n 10
1008372 /var 313236 /var/www 253964 /var/log 192544 /var/lib 152628 /var/spool 152508 /var/spool/squid 136524 /var/spool/squid/00 95736 /var/log/mrtg.log 74688 /var/log/squid 62544 /var/cache
If you want more human readable output try (GNU user only):
$ cd /path/to/some/where
$ du -hsx * | sort -rh | head -10
- du command -h option : display sizes in human readable format (e.g., 1K, 234M, 2G).
- du command -s option : show only a total for each argument (summary).
- du command -x option : skip directories on different file systems.
- sort command -r option : reverse the result of comparisons.
- sort command -h option : compare human readable numbers. This is GNU sort specific option only.
- head command -10 OR -n 10 option : show the first 10 lines.
The above command will only work of GNU/sort is installed. Other Unix like operating system should use the following version (see comments below):
for i in G M K; do du -ah | grep [0-9]$i | sort -nr -k 1; done | head -n 11
179M . 84M ./uploads 57M ./images 51M ./images/faq 49M ./images/faq/2013 48M ./uploads/cms 37M ./videos/faq/2013/12 37M ./videos/faq/2013 37M ./videos/faq 37M ./videos 36M ./uploads/faq
Find the largest file in a directory and its subdirectories using the find command
Type the following GNU/find command:
## Warning: only works with GNU find ## find /path/to/dir/ -printf '%s %p\n'| sort -nr | head -10 find . -printf '%s %p\n'| sort -nr | head -10
5700875 ./images/faq/2013/11/iftop-outputs.gif 5459671 ./videos/faq/2013/12/glances/glances.webm 5091119 ./videos/faq/2013/12/glances/glances.ogv 4706278 ./images/faq/2013/09/cyberciti.biz.linux.wallpapers_r0x1.tar.gz 3911341 ./videos/faq/2013/12/vim-exit/vim-exit.ogv 3640181 ./videos/faq/2013/12/python-subprocess/python-subprocess.webm 3571712 ./images/faq/2013/12/glances-demo-large.gif 3222684 ./videos/faq/2013/12/vim-exit/vim-exit.mp4 3198164 ./videos/faq/2013/12/python-subprocess/python-subprocess.ogv 3056537 ./images/faq/2013/08/debian-as-parent-distribution.png.bak
You can skip directories and only display files, type:
find /path/to/search/ -type f -printf '%s %p\n'| sort -nr | head -10
find /path/to/search/ -type f -iname "*.mp4" -printf '%s %p\n'| sort -nr | head -10
Hunt down disk space hogs with ducks
Use the following bash shell alias:
alias ducks='du -cks * | sort -rn | head'
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