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
There are no attachments for this article.
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
Method 2 – Use shell scripts How to install yum cron on a CentOS/RHEL 6.x/7.x
Viewed 523 times since Tue, Dec 4, 2018
RHEL: Change system’s hostname
Viewed 1008 times since Sun, May 27, 2018
Viewed 580 times since Fri, Jul 27, 2018
LUKS dm-crypt/Device encryption GUIDE
Viewed 573 times since Fri, Jul 13, 2018
Linux – delete the LUN and remove traces from OS
Viewed 866 times since Tue, May 22, 2018
20 Practical Examples of RPM Commands in Linux rpm
Viewed 990 times since Mon, Feb 18, 2019
Linux Audit The Linux security blog about Auditing, Hardening, and Compliance lynis
Viewed 281 times since Thu, Jan 16, 2020
How to find your System details using inxi
Viewed 1097 times since Sat, Jun 2, 2018
stunnel: Authentication
Viewed 502 times since Fri, Sep 28, 2018
RHEL: iSCSI target/initiator configuration on RHEL6
Viewed 1012 times since Sat, Jun 2, 2018