I know this is a very basic question, but I searched the web and did not find a simple answer. I'm sure it's some kind of two or three letter command, right?

2 Answers 2


du -s directory, as in "disk usage, sum"

Use du -sk to show the size in kilobytes (default is to show number of 512-byte blocks), or du -sh for a more human-friendly output. For more options, type man du.

  • Actually I wanted 'du -s -b' so the size is in bytes. I don't know why the default is kilobytes without a 'kb' but it wasn't a convincing answer! ;D
    – Langel
    Mar 10, 2012 at 19:02
  • 7
    You can use -h flag for 'human readable', this makes automatic conversion in KB, MB, ect. Mar 10, 2012 at 19:14
  • @Martin this is my favorite flag as well.
    – David
    Mar 11, 2012 at 0:37

This is the same as -s, but replace 0 with 1 and you can get just the content in the folder:

du -h -d 0 /path/to/file

If you want the whole volume, you should use df instead of du (path is optional):

df -H /

Off-topic: One (very) spooky thing: I happend to be just a street away from Arne Stenström.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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