I have a website on my server and I own it.

The size of the website is around a whopping 170GB. This shouldn't be this much. At most, it should be around 20GB. I don't know what makes it that big.

I am trying to figure out which directory has such a large size, but I am not able too.

I checked the DB size and it is around 500 MB.
Please help me to find out the main directory responsible for this.

  • I have tried that before posting the question here. It gets stuck in calculating and I waited for it 30 mnts then I cancelled it. Any other fast method to know the folder size ?
    – Yogus
    Aug 14, 2013 at 7:55
  • First, comment under the answer if that's what you meant to comment. Second, du command is long, if you have deep filesystem and/or a lot of files. Just open another terminal while it's running and use top to verify du is still using CPU / not surcharging memory
    – mveroone
    Aug 14, 2013 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


Under any linux system, you want to use the command du. (Disk Usage)

Common usage is : du -sh file(s) name(s) or du -sh /path/to/dir/*

-s stand for "summary" which will give you the size of each argument instead of detailing th size of each elements of the file tree underneath.

Replace 'h' by 'k','m' or 'g' for Kilobytes, Megabytes and Gigabytes instead of human-readable. With k/m/g switches, you can then pipe the output to sort -n (numeric sort instead of lexicographic) to get the sorted by size list of files in a directory. sort even has a -h filter on latest versions.

If you still have a big difference, you may want to try the --apparent-size switch to du which will allow you to diagnose sparse files. (files with empty space inside, to be simple)

For more information, see the manual page of du

  • Is there a quicker way? I have a folder with so many files, It has been running this command for hours. May 22, 2020 at 15:29

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