Find All Large Files On A Linux System

The best way to find large files on your Linux system is to use the command line. This how-to will suggest a few methods for listing such files in specific directories or complete file systems.

 

 

Before getting started, we suggest you Learn Linux Basics and follow these precautions.

 

 

Steps to follow

Option 1

This is a basic method for listing files of a certain size. Here we're searching the home directory of the user you're currently logged in as for files greater than 20MB.
find ~ -size +20M

Note: Alternatively, you may search for files less than a certain size by changing the + to a - and may also change the directory path to search.
Option 2a

For more detailed output, we can use find to search directories for files greater than 20MB, display the path and file size. In this example we're searching the entire file system, but you may choose to use a specific path.
find / -type f -size +20M -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $NF ": " $5 }'

Option 2b

Find reports errors when it searches directories for which it has no permissions. This is attributed to not having administrative privileges, so you may want to su to root, otherwise, discard these errors by redirecting to /dev/null.

find / -type f -size +20M -exec ls -lh {} \; 2> /dev/null | awk '{ print $NF ": " $5 }'

Option 2c

Additionally, you may find it beneficial to sort (numerically) based on the size (second column).

find / -type f -size +20M -exec ls -lh {} \; 2> /dev/null | awk '{ print $NF ": " $5 }' | sort -nk 2,2

Output will be similar to this:
./Desktop/linuxlookup/.cache/tracker/file-index.db: 24M
./.mozilla/firefox/z65ywy3s.default/places.sqlite: 43M
./Desktop/linuxlookup/.evolution/mail/local/Inbox.sbd/ll: 98M
./Desktop/linuxlookup/dev/security-report.tar: 140M
..
Option 2d

Or reverse the sort order (larger files listed first) by using this.

find / -type f -size +20000k -exec ls -lh {} \; 2> /dev/null | awk '{ print $NF ": " $5 }' | sort -nrk 2,2

0 (0)
Article Rating (No Votes)
Rate this article
Attachments
There are no attachments for this article.
Comments
There are no comments for this article. Be the first to post a comment.
Full Name
Email Address
Security Code Security Code
Related Articles RSS Feed
linux unix aix banner /etc/issue
Viewed 510 times since Fri, Aug 3, 2018
LVM: Mount LVM Partition(s) in Rescue Mode
Viewed 868 times since Sat, Jun 2, 2018
Expand or grow a file system on a Linux VMWare VM without downtime
Viewed 519 times since Fri, Jul 27, 2018
RHEL: Checking HBAs
Viewed 1398 times since Sun, May 27, 2018
Top 4 Reasons for Node Reboot or Node Eviction in Real Application Cluster (RAC) Environment
Viewed 7451 times since Thu, Jun 21, 2018
RHCS6: Reduce a Global Filesystem 2 (GFS2)
Viewed 579 times since Sun, Jun 3, 2018
logrotate Understanding logrotate utility
Viewed 255 times since Sun, Jan 12, 2020
List DNS records, nameservers of a domain from command line
Viewed 455 times since Sun, Sep 30, 2018
12 Tcpdump Commands – A Network Sniffer Tool
Viewed 542 times since Fri, Jul 27, 2018
Linux - Cannot login from remote console but can access via ssh
Viewed 549 times since Fri, Jun 8, 2018