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Tip: Largest Files in Linux

Here's a quick tip on how to find the largest files on your Linux system. If you are running low on disk space, knowing your largest files can be very handy for getting rid of especially large unneeded files and getting things going, again. I know I sometimes set aside a backup of a database that might be 20GB or more, such as during a migration or upgrade or debug session, then end up forgetting I have it sitting there. When space gets tight, I look for the largest files first, then I don't have to spend a lot of time getting things back where they belong.

This command will list the 30 largest files on your system and sort from largest file size down in size. This 2015 version is improved and takes into account filenames with spaces or escaped characters:




find / -mount -type f -printf '%s|"%h/%f"\n' | \
 awk '{FS="|"; printf "%10d MB\t%s\n",($1/1024)/1024,$2}' | \
 sort -rnk1 | head -30

Run it as all one line.

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