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I have a large number of folders that each contain quite a few files of varying sizes (from a few bytes to 400kb or so), mostly smaller ones. I need to get the actual (not the disk usage) size of these folders. Is there any way to do this with a command like 'du'?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's fairly standard for ls to show true file sizes by default, and I've just verified that. So:

ls -l <yourfiles>

To tally up the totals:

ls -l <yourfiles> | awk '{sum+=$5} END {print sum}'

If your tally needs to include files in subdirectories, the common solution is to use find to invoke ls:

find <yourdir>/. -type f -exec ls -l '{}' \; | awk '{sum+=$5} END {print sum}'
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Looks good, but I get an error; "minimum blocksize is 512" :/ Thanks for the effort though! – Jonatan Hedborg Jan 27 '10 at 17:54
I'm home at my mac now. Confirmed that a bare "ls" returns the exact size of files (as it should, really). Modified answer to remove superfluous options, which should clear up your error. – pra Jan 28 '10 at 5:39
This works. thanks! – Jonatan Hedborg Jan 28 '10 at 12:13

You could ask for the Mac-world total (includes resource forks) like this:

# Put this in a shell function or script, 'macTotal'
osascript - "${1:-.}" <<\EOF | perl -Mbignum -lpe '$_+=0,"\n"'
on run {arg}
    alias POSIX file arg
    tell application "System Events" to get size of result
end run

$ macTotal ~/Library

The AppleScript prints the number in scientific notation. The Perl code is a sloppy way to expand the scientific notation.

If you are OK with reading the numbers from the GUI, just open a folder's Info window in Finder. The reported size is the same as what System Events gives in the AppleScript.

If you just care about data forks, I would go with something similar to pra's answer, but using stat instead of ls and xargs instead of -exec for a bit more efficiency.

$ find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 stat -f %z | awk '{t+=$1}END{print t}'
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You could run wc -c on each of the files. This should return the number of characters in each file. It might take a while, since it actually reads through each file and counts the characters.

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To see the total of just one specific folder use:

du -s /path_to/specific_folder/

To see to total of each folder in one specific folder use an asterisk:

du -s /path_to/specific_folder/*

If you don't own all of the files in those directories use sudo to be sure everything is counted.

Edit: Ah, I understand what you are asking now. You want:

du -sk /path_to/specific_folder/

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That's what I'm doing currently (more or less). But it returns the "size on disk", not the actual file size. The difference is quite large in this case (40-70% depending on folder content). – Jonatan Hedborg Jan 27 '10 at 17:43
-sk still reports disk usage, not actual file size :/ – Jonatan Hedborg Jan 28 '10 at 11:30

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