Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How do I get Ubuntu's "Disk Usage Analyzer" to show me the hidden files?

It tells me my home dir uses 3GB, but only accounts for 525MB (the results of du -shc *). Can I get it to show me the other files that are using the space?

share|improve this question
du already shows all files, it doesn't hide anything. What exactly are the 3GB and 525MB figures reported for? – Gilles Aug 19 '10 at 0:00
You should try 'ncdu' which is generally available in your distro's repositories, its text interface is great. – Shadok Apr 4 '12 at 16:02
You may also need to run as root, and not with sudo but with actual root, via su root. – Mikhail Nov 7 '12 at 14:44

You can use this (it does not match files with a single letter after the '.')

du -shc .??* *

wikipedia also mentions a regex style usage which should work for every file/folder name

du -shc .[!.]* *
share|improve this answer

Call du with the whole home directory rather than every single file:

du -sh ~

That's because the * doesn't match the hidden ones.

share|improve this answer

I got a similar problem today. My solution:

du -h | awk -F/ '{if (NF<3) {print $1"/"$2}}'

du -h gives us the complete usage of current directory including all subdirectories recursively.

| awk -F/ '{if (NF<3) {print $1"/"$2}}' filters the output and prints no subdirectories.

If you want to see the files in addition to the directories you can use this:

du -ah | awk -F/ '{if (NF<3) {print $1"/"$2}}'

If you want to see exactly which files use the most disk space you can add | sort -h at the end.

share|improve this answer

When you do

du -shc *

it excludes everything that starts with a dot.


du -shc ~


share|improve this answer
One of the common culprits for chewing space under your home dir is .TRASH, the default trash directory used by distributions like Ubuntu. – John T Aug 19 '10 at 1:25
Strangely, this shows 150GB (which I think is the total of all my filesystem usage) - and none of the sub-directories or files. Pretty useless really – Stephen Aug 19 '10 at 1:49
@Stephen: you may have symlinks that are throwing things off. Try adding the -D option. – Dennis Williamson Aug 19 '10 at 6:46

Other possibilities for unaccounted for space (other than the very valid point about . files and * expansion others suggested) include the 5% of the disk that is occasionally reserved for root (relatively common) and files hidden underneath a mount point.

For that last, imagine you have a folder /tmp/somerandom/raccoon/. In this folder you put 2.5G of video. You then mount your USB disk on /tmp/somerandom/. You can no longer access the file/files that you put in /tmp/somerandom/raccoon, but they still take up disk space. du doesn't see them, but df does.

share|improve this answer

Disk Usage Analyzer does not show files (as I would expect) - if the % below a certain directory don't show up, then open the folder and look at the files individually.

share|improve this answer

You can use "find" + "du" to see the hidden files and folders:

find ~ -maxdepth 1 -exec du -hs {} \;
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.