One-liner for largest files/folders

Do you ever find yourself wanting to know what the deuce is taking up all your space? Here’s a simple one-liner to figure out the top 20 folders eating your disk:

du -ha <folder_location*> | sort -h | tail -n20

du is the disk usage utility that teamed with sort and tail can be very valuable. Usually you would want to make the <folder_location> be at the root of the volume (/) but maybe you have areas you don’t want searched. Just include the exclude!

du -ha /* --exclude "/home/" | sort -h | tail -n20

This will work for Linux, but if you’re on OSX you will likely not have the sort command. First you’ll need to install brew, which is a package manager for OSX:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
Here’s the official Brew site with context on the install
Once you’ve got Brew, you can install the GNU core utilities
brew install coreutils

You can now use gsort -g on OSX in place of sort -h on Linux with the same results


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