This short blog post will show you a command that will let you find the ten biggest files or directories in linux and osx machines. I forget these commands every time I need to use them, so I have added a post to my blog to help me be able to find them quickly (I use this post about once a week!)
Find 10 largest files linux or osx
du -a / | sort -n -r | head -n 10
You can use the same command to find the ten biggest files or directories in linux in a specific location like this (eg for /var/www)
du -a /var/www | sort -n -r | head -n 10
And you can modify the command to return more than ten results like this (return the top 25 files in /var/www)
du -a /var/www | sort -n -r | head -n 25
What the various parts mean
The pipe character | sends the output from one program to another. This is the unix way.
du -a / – (disk usage) this command shows the disk usage statistics for all the files in /, one per line man du gives lots of options. du -h / is one that I use all the time to check disk usage (along with df -h)
sort -n -r – this command sorts output. -n sorts numbers in an ascending order (lowest to highest). -r reverses the order.
head -n 25 – this command takes the first 25 lines, outputs them and stops
Altogether the command is:
get the filesize of all files, one per line, sort them in descending order of their filesize, and output 25 of them.