How to find files that are eating up disk space

Robert Huff roberthuff at
Wed Dec 17 17:59:00 UTC 2008

John Almberg writes:

>  > Is there a command line tool that will help me figure out where the  
>  > problem is?
>  I should probably have mentioned that what I currently do is run
>  	du -h -d0 /
>  and gradually work my way down the tree, until I find the
>  directory that is hogging disk space. This works, but is not
>  exactly efficient.

	"-d0" limits the search to the indicated directory; i.e. what
you can see by doing "ls -al /".  Not superior to "ls -al /" and
using the Mark I eyeball.
	What (I think) you want is "du -x -h /": infinite depth, but do
not cross filesystem mount-points.  This is still broken in that it
returns a list where the numbers are in a fixed-width fiend which
are visually distinguished only by the last letter.
	Try this:

	du -x /

	and run the resu;ts through "sort":

	sort -nr

	and those results through "head":

	head -n 20

	I have a cron job which does this for /usr and e-mails me the
output every morning.  After a few days, weeks at most, I know what
should be on that list ... and what shouldn't and needs

			Robert Huff

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