In the past I’ve wrote an article about the commands
df that can respectively give you information about the Disk Usage and the Disk Free of your Linux computer.
I personally use both of these commands a lot of times at work to check file system and/or directory, but I also understand that on a desktop with Linux you could use something more graphical to see the status of your partitions or directories, so today I’ll show you some programs that can achieve this goal: baobab, cdu, ncdu, JDiskReport and Filelight.
Baobab recently changed name in Disk Usage Analyser, a bit more generic and less romantic perhaps but now you can’t tell that is not clear what this program do.
Disk Usage Analyzer is a graphical disk usage analyzer for the GNOME environment. It was part of gnome-utils, but was split off for GNOME 3.4. The software gives the user a menu-driven, graphical representation of what is on a disk drive. The interface allows for selection of specific parts of filesystem being scanned so a single folder, the entire filesystem, and even remote folders and filesystems can be scanned. The graphical representation can be switched between a ring chart and a treemap chart so the presentation can be tailored to the specific content being scanned
Some of the interesting feature included in this software are:
Full filesystem scan
With this option you’ll get a nice overview your whole disk.
When the scanning process ends up, you will get the full tree of your filesystem, like the one in the previous Figure.
Single folder scan
Useful to scan just a single directory and get info about all the subdir and its files.
If you need to scan a remote server-folder, just click on the toolbar icon Scan Remote Folder or select Analyzer → Scan Remote Folder from the menu and you will get a dialog box where you can select the protocol, username/password, The destination IP and directory.
Disk Usage Analyzer can connect to a server through ssh, ftp, smb, http and https.
cdu (for Color du) is a perl script which call
du and displays a pretty histogram with optional colors which allow to immediatly see the directories which take disk space.
With no arguments, cdu reports the disk space for all subdirectories of the current directory.
With only one directory argument, cdu reports the disk space for all subdirectories of the given directory.
You can also call cdu with no predefined options.
Some of the most important options that you can use with cdu:
-d, –du option
A list of option to pass to the du command. To avoid some errors, if option -n is not given, the only available options are “bDhklLmx” (e.g.: to use the -h option of du to have sizes in human readable format: -dh).
Takes recursively all files from given directories. Total size is only the size of all files without the size of the directories.
colors according to the size.
NCDU (NCurses Disk Usage) is a disk usage analyzer with an ncurses interface, aimed to be run on a remote server where you don’t have an entire graphical environment, and you have to work on a simple terminal on a SSH connection. ncdu aims to be fast, simple and easy to use, and should be able to run in any minimal POSIX-like environment with ncurses installed.
Ncdu is entirely written in C released under a MIT license and available as package on the repository of the main distributions.
This is a screenshot after a successful run :
To scan and browse the directory you’re currently in, all you need is a simple:
If you want to scan a full filesystem, your root filesystem, for example, then you’ll want to use -x:
ncdu -x /
JDiskReport enables users to understand how much space the files and directories consume on a disk drive, and it helps users to find large, old, and obsolete files and folders.
JDiskReport analyses your disk drives and collects several statistics which you can view as overview charts and details tables.
As you can probably imagine JDiskReport is wrote in java and should run on any computer with a Java Virtual Machine version 1.5 or later.
- Scan a file tree
- Scan home directory
- Quickly analyses a drive or folder that has been recently analysed
- Run JDiskReport from a command line
- Top 100 Lists – This is a list of the 100 largest files, least recently modified files, and most recently files.
- Size Distribution · The size distribution views help you to learn more about the different file sizes that exists on your disk drives
- Modified Distribution – provides you with information about when how much space and how many files have been modified
- Type Distribution – collected from the file extensions that exist on the analysed file tree
JDiskReport is available as package on the getdeb repository, for Debian, Ubuntu and Mint.
Filelight is a KDE (available for KDE3 and KDE 4) graphical disk-space analyzer that creates an interactive map of concentric, segmented rings that help visualise disk usage on your computer, as graphical output is similar to the first software of this article Baobab.
Segments are sized in proportion to their filesize. Segments can be nested, so for example, /home/mxcl will be one level outwards and within the bounds of the segment representing /home. Segments are labeled and hovering the mouse over segments will give you more details of that segment and its child segments.
You can open directories with Konqueror or Konsole using the context menu for that segment. Middle clicks open files by mimetype.
Filelight is available as package in many distributions and also on the main repository of ubuntu/Debian and Mint.
To launch Filelight, open Applications -> Accessories -> Filelight. In Filelight main interface, you can either click one of your disks for a global scan, or use the upper right dialog box to insert a path of your choice such as /home.