Get disk usage from the command line (du and df)

March 10, 2010

the du command can be used to get the size of files or directories from the command line. The usual usage is:

du -h

This will tell you how much disk space is being used by everything in the current directory. The -h stands for ‘human readable’ which one would have thought would be the default but exists for legacy reasons. The default behaviour without -h is to display the number of blocks taken up by the files.

To see the size of each file in a directory use:

du -h *

To see the disk usage statistics for all mounted drives you can use the df command which provides the amount of space in total, how much is used and how much is left. Its useful as it also provides the percentage used:

df -h


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