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How to Find Large Files in Linux

Q. How do I find out all large files in a directory?

A. There is no single command that can be used to list all large files. But, with the help of find command and shell pipes, you can easily list all large files.

Usage: find [-H] [-L] [-P] [-Olevel] [-D help|tree|search|stat|rates|opt|exec] [path...] [expression]
default path is the current directory; default expression is -print
expression may consist of: operators, options, tests, and actions:
operators (decreasing precedence; -and is implicit where no others are given):
( EXPR )   ! EXPR   -not EXPR   EXPR1 -a EXPR2   EXPR1 -and EXPR2
EXPR1 -o EXPR2   EXPR1 -or EXPR2   EXPR1 , EXPR2
positional options (always true): -daystart -follow -regextype
normal options (always true, specified before other expressions):
-depth --help -maxdepth LEVELS -mindepth LEVELS -mount -noleaf
--version -xdev -ignore_readdir_race -noignore_readdir_race
tests (N can be +N or -N or N): -amin N -anewer FILE -atime N -cmin N
-cnewer FILE -ctime N -empty -false -fstype TYPE -gid N -group NAME
-ilname PATTERN -iname PATTERN -inum N -iwholename PATTERN -iregex PATTERN
-links N -lname PATTERN -mmin N -mtime N -name PATTERN -newer FILE
-nouser -nogroup -path PATTERN -perm [+-]MODE -regex PATTERN
-readable -writable -executable
-wholename PATTERN -size N[bcwkMG] -true -type [bcdpflsD] -uid N
-used N -user NAME -xtype [bcdpfls]
actions: -delete -print0 -printf FORMAT -fprintf FILE FORMAT -print 
-fprint0 FILE -fprint FILE -ls -fls FILE -prune -quit
-exec COMMAND ; -exec COMMAND {} + -ok COMMAND ;
-execdir COMMAND ; -execdir COMMAND {} + -okdir COMMAND ;
Report (and track progress on fixing) bugs via the findutils bug-reporting
page at http://savannah.gnu.org/ or, if you have no web access, by sending
email to <[email protected]>.


Linux List All Large Files

To finds all files over 50,000KB (50MB+) in size and display their names, along with size, use following syntax:

Syntax for RedHat / CentOS / Fedora Linux

find {/path/to/directory/} -type f -size +{size-in-kb}k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $9 ": " $5 }'

Search or find big files Linux (50MB) in current directory, enter:

find . -type f -size +50000k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $9 ": " $5 }'

Search in my /var/log directory:

find /var/log -type f -size +100000k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $9 ": " $5 }'

Syntax for Debian / Ubuntu Linux

find {/path/to/directory} -type f -size +{file-size-in-kb}k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $8 ": " $5 }'

Search in current directory:

find . -type f -size +10000k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $8 ": " $5 }'

Sample output:

./.kde/share/apps/akregator/Archive/http___blogs.msdn.com_MainFeed.aspx?Type=AllBlogs.mk4: 91M
./out/out.tar.gz: 828M
./.cache/tracker/file-meta.db: 101M
./ubuntu-8.04-desktop-i386.iso: 700M
./vivek/out/mp3/Eric: 230M

Above commands will lists files that are are greater than 10,000 kilobytes in size. To list all files in your home directory tree less than 500 bytes in size, type:

find $HOME -size -500b


find ~ -size -500b

To list all files on the system whose size is exactly 20 512-byte blocks, type:

find / -size 20

Perl hack: To display large files

Jonathan has contributed following perl code print out stars and the length of the stars show the usage of each folder / file from smallest to largest on the box:

du -k | sort -n | perl -ne 'if ( /^(\d+)\s+(.*$)/){$l=log($1+.1);$m=int($l/log(1024)); printf  ("%6.1f\t%s\t%25s  %s\n",($1/(2**(10*$m))),(("K","M","G","T","P")[$m]),"*"x (1.5*$l),$2);}'

ls command: finding the largest files in a directory

You can also use ls command:

$ ls -lS
$ ls -lS | less
$ ls -lS | head +10

ls command: finding the smallest files in a directory

Use ls command as follows:

$ ls -lSr
$ ls -lSr | less
$ ls -lSr | tail -10


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