du command in Linux with Useful Examples

du is the short of disk uses. Which means the du command calculates the size on disk used by a files. It is the basic Linux command frequently used the Linux system users.


du [OPTION]... [FILE]...

In this tutorial, you will learn the uses of du command in Linux with useful examples.

du Command Examples

du is an frequent used command by the Unix/Linux system users. It calculates the size of a file, directory on Unix like systems. It also allowed to check size of directory including all files recursively.

  1. Check single file size – Use the simple du command to check size of a specific file. This will show the total size in bytes.
    du /home/rahul/data/backup.tar.gz 
    165608  /home/rahul/data/backup.tar.gz

    Also run the du command with a directory. It will show you the size of the directory and sub directories in output.

    du /home/rahul/data 
    20      /home/rahul/data/mydumpadmin/python-mysql-backup
    44      /home/rahul/data/mydumpadmin
    180568  /home/rahul/data/
  2. Show summary of size The default du command displays size of all subdirectories. Use -s option to total size of main directories and do not display subdirectories sizes.
    du -s /home/rahul/data 
    180568  /home/rahul/data
  3. Check size in human readable format – Use -h or --human-readable option to print size in human readable format (like: K, M, G, T). The default du shows the size in bytes but you can print size in KB, MB, GB, which is easy to read.
    du -h /home/rahul/data/backup.tar.gz 
    162M    /home/rahul/data/backup.tar.gz
  4. Show total size – Use -c or --total option to show total size of all files at end. This will show you all files size individually as well as total size.
    du -c -h /home/rahul/data 
    20K     /home/rahul/data/mydumpadmin/python-mysql-backup
    44K     /home/rahul/data/mydumpadmin
    177M    /home/rahul/data
    177M    total
  5. Excluding some tiles – We can also exclude some files from calculating size. For example, do not calculate files with “.log” extension.
    du -s -h --exclude="*.log" /home/rahul/data 
    148M    /home/rahul/data

    The command also can read multiple pattern defined in a file and exclude them from size calculation. Add a list.txt with some file pattern to exclude from size calculation

    du -s -h --exclude-from=list.txt /home/rahul/data 
    142M    /home/rahul/data


In this tutorial, you have learned to uses of du command in Linux with examples.

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