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I use Ubuntu 9.04 and I would like to know how to display how much space is taken up by all the contents held recursively in one directory using a Linux terminal?

Should I use ls -l along with some other options?

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migrated from Oct 4 '09 at 15:29

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

You can use the following:

du -sh <your-dir>


  • s means summarize this directory only
  • h means human-readable units (MB, GB etc)
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The -s means "summarize this directory only", and -h means "human-readable units (like MB, GB)". – unwind Oct 4 '09 at 15:12
If this were code du -sh -> alias disc-usage=du; disc-usage --human-readable --summarize – Thomas Jung Oct 4 '09 at 15:21
This also works just fine under windows, with Cygwin. – Phoshi Oct 4 '09 at 15:32
The -c option (produce a total line) tends to also be helpful, if you need to specify a few arguments! – Jefromi Oct 5 '09 at 20:33

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