du and df Command : Find Size of a directory & Free disk space in linux

Command:

‘du’ – Finding the size of a directory 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 /var

The above command would give you the directory size of the directory /var

$ 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 -h /var | sort -h

This command gives you a better output than the default one and in srted way. 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 -ch | grep total

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

$ 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.
‘df’ – finding the disk free space / disk usage in Linux

$ df

Typing the above, outputs a table consisting of 6 columns. All the columns are very easy to understand. Remember that the ‘Size’, ‘Used’ and ‘Avail’ columns use kilobytes as the unit. The ‘Use%’ column shows the usage as a percentage which is also very useful.

$ df -h

Displays the same output as the previous command but the ‘-h’ indicates human readable format. Hence instead of kilobytes as the unit the output would have ‘M’ for Megabytes and ‘G’ for Gigabytes.

Satya Prakash

VOIP Expert: More than 8 years of experience in Asterisk Development and Call Center operation Management. Unique Combination of Skill Set as IT, Analytics and operation management.

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