I was wondering how do you know where the largest files in my system are stored.

For example---

Disk Space Used: 1GB Java: 500MB Java Percentage: 50% maybe represented in a pie chart. Maybe?

I know this maybe a feature overkill. I sometimes forget having stored things and wonder why my disk is so full.

So basically a command that will allow me to run on the file system and provide me with information on disk space used.

Please and thank you.

7 Answers 7


The Disk Usage Analyzer is available under Ubuntu > Accessories > Disk Usage Analyzer. It provides you with a snazzy pie graph showing what files and folders take up the most space:

enter image description here

The documentation on it is a little sparse, but you can find more information on the Ubuntu wiki, and the project page.

If you're interested in using the command line, there's du which is described here.

  • 1
    Mmm. Delicious pie...
    – Erigami
    Nov 14, 2012 at 15:26
  • Disk Usage Analyzer does not show individual files, only directories. It is very difficult to analyze a directory without this information, so it is actually of little use. Dec 5, 2014 at 15:58
  • Using this to find problem directories, it's fairly easy to ls -l that directory to look for large files. Dec 7, 2014 at 16:01
  • 1
    sudo apt install baobab for other *ubuntu systems.
    – Morgoth
    Oct 17, 2019 at 18:10

Unless it changed recently, baobab only shows directories; check out kdirstat for an alternative that actually shows files, coloured by type.

A commandline alternative is

du -a | sort -nr | head

The solution that @UncleZeiv proposed is not working when there is really no more space left, since sort is using the /tmp folder when there are multiple lines to sort.

du -a | sort -nr | head
sort: write failed: /tmp/sortuCYq8E: No space left on device

An alternative is a combination of the answer from @UncleZeiv and @Yoav Weiss, plus adding another path for the temporary location:

sudo du -a | sort -nr -T /media/usb-key

Finally, my preferred solution will be a human-readable one that doesn't depend on temp folder and list root directory (/):

sudo du -ah --max-depth=1  / | sort -hr
  • 3
    This should be the best answer Sep 12, 2016 at 9:27

A useful command to that helps in cases you need to determine that for specific directories from the command line:

du --max-depth=1 -x -h

It gives you a list of the first depth directories and their sizes

-x limits the analysis to one file system

-h shows human readable k/M/Gbytes (this prevents you from sorting the output though)


The other excellent pie-graph disk usage tool is Filelight. It's a KDE app, and it's available in the repositories.

  • 1
    It depends on kde-runtime and a few other KDE utilities, so it's likely not pure Qt. Thus it will probably be more suitable for Kubuntu users.
    – Chris
    Jun 27, 2013 at 7:04
  • Ok, I'll update my answer Jun 27, 2013 at 17:15

Use the Disk Usage Analyser (Applications -> Accessories -> Disk Usage Analyser):

(The command is baobab).

Click Analyser -> Scan Filesystem


Another tool for this is jDiskReport (a Java app)

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