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. 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.


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