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du and df are nice, but I don't know how to filter the data they provide the way I do with SequoiaView. I would like to know which are the largest folders and the largest files in a glance.

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up vote 78 down vote accepted

You might also want to try the NCurses Disk Usage aka ncdu.

Use it like ncdu -x -q if you're invoking it remotely (e. g. via ssh) and ncdu -x otherwise.

ncdu 1.6 ~ Use the arrow keys to navigate, press ? for help
    --- /home/geek -----------------------------------------------------------------
       27.6MiB  /qm test 1 rework
      312.0kiB  /sidebar
       88.0kiB  /rackerhacker-MySQLTuner-perl-6add618
        8.0kiB  /.w3m
        4.0kiB  /.cache
    e   4.0kiB  /.ssh
      160.0kiB   ng.tar.gz
       76.0kiB   plowshare_1~svn1673-1_all.deb
        4.0kiB   .bashrc
        4.0kiB   .bash_history
        4.0kiB   .profile
        4.0kiB   .htoprc
        4.0kiB   .bash_logout
        0.0  B   .lesshst

This is available under Mac OS X too.

The following flags to the command line might be helpful:

-q Quiet mode, doesn't update the screen 10 times a second
   while scanning, reduces network bandwidth used

-x Don't cross filesystem borders (don't descend into a
   directory which is a mounted disk)

Thanks to Sorin Sbarnea.

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Available under OS X too, via brew. It may be a good idea to call it using ncdu -x -q – sorin Dec 13 '12 at 12:46
awesome! the best option for me was ncdu -q, even in ssh. – Valter Henrique Apr 19 '13 at 14:36

Use some combination of the commands and options:

du --max-depth=1 2> /dev/null | sort -n -r | head -n20

to view only the largest few. If you'd like to use it a lot, then bind it to an alias, e.g. in bash by adding to ~/.bashrc

alias largest='du --max-depth=1 2> /dev/null | sort -n -r | head -n20'
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To view the largest few, you need the -r option on sort. – RedGrittyBrick Jun 22 '11 at 13:23
I submitted @RedGrittyBrick suggestion and an error redirection to /dev/null as an edit subject to approval. – Jader Dias Jun 22 '11 at 13:39
I would also use the du -H option, but it breaks the sort behavior – Jader Dias Jun 22 '11 at 13:54
@jumpnett: it redirects standard error (in this case into the black hole that is /dev/null). – eldering Jun 6 '13 at 21:46
You can use sort -h to sort values with human readable suffixes. – allo Nov 30 '15 at 15:27

You probably want xdu.

du -ax | xdu -n

There's also the more sophisticated KDE-based Filelight.

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I usually use

du -hsc * | sort -h

What each option means for du:

  • h: show sizes in human readable format (1K, 1M, 1G, ...)
  • s: summarize: display only a total for each argument
  • c: also display a grand total

The -h option on sort makes it understand the -h format (human readable) on du. This option is relatively new on sort, so maybe your system does not support it and forces you to use du -sc | sort -n instead.

If you do it on a remote machine and the process takes a long time, you probably want to execute this process backgrounded or inside a screen or something similar to prevent a connection loss.

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