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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Find the top 10 largest files and directories on Ubuntu

Unfortunately there is not a simple command in Linux to find the largest files and/or directories. However, combining the following three commands (using pipes) can help you locate the largest files/directories on your file system:
  • du - Estimate file space usage
  • sort - Sort lines of text files or given input data
  • head - Output the first part of files i.e. to display the n largest files/directories
In Terminal (command prompt) enter the following to list the top 10 largest files/directories:
sudo du -a / | sort -n -r | head -n 10
Of course this can be used on various directories as well, like usr or var:
sudo du -a /usr | sort -n -r | head -n 10
sudo du -a /var | sort -n -r | head -n 10

NOTE: This works on all flavors or Linux, UNIX and BSD as well - just drop sudo.

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