I'm having some problems with a full disk.
According to df -k I'm using 47 gb of data in my home folder and I have no idea where all of that data is hiding. I tried using the disk usage analyser aka baobab but since my home directory is encrypted I can't analyse which folders are using all of the data (since the $home directory is just a virtual representation of my encrypted data and is more of a phantom view so baobab just keeps scanning endlessly without counting any data when I ask it to just scan my home directory).
Does anyone know of a good method to analyse where all of my disk space went??

Btw does anyone have some good suggestions for clearing up disk space?

  • check your downloads folder? It's common to see that filled up with stuff you once thought you wanted but after awhile you find you don't – Elder Geek May 4 '14 at 21:19
  • First place I checked. My downloads folder only contained about 2.3 gb of data. There were some files in there I didn't need and deleted them freeing about 1 gb. – Akisame May 4 '14 at 21:25
  • Have you emptied the trash? – Elder Geek May 4 '14 at 21:29
  • Yes, I've cleared the trash – Akisame May 4 '14 at 21:31

open a terminal

at the command prompt enter the command du /home/$USER| sort -n

and you'll soon find where all the space is being used near the bottom of the output. Videos seems a likely location or perhaps the directory you store your Virtual Machines.

This takes just a few seconds on my system.

614919684   /home/me/VirtualBox VMs
1324521232  /home/me

real    0m2.567s
user    0m0.137s
sys 0m0.275s
  • 1
    du /home | sort -rn > find.space.txt to sort the ouptut – pim Aug 24 '17 at 12:31

You said "..baobab just keeps scanning endlessly without counting any data when I ask it to just scan my home directory..." so you might have already tried this, but for others with this problem; I found that while selecting the root directory just showed me a bunch of ambiguous ENCRYPTFS files, selecting my home directory from the "Devices and Locations" screen solved this problem.

On the first "Devices and locations" screen, click the three line icon in the upper right, and hit "Scan Folder..." in the menu that pops up (picture of the menu) Select your home folder, and baobab should scan it.

Note that I only tested this while logged in to my account, and that it took a very long time (1hr+ for 220GB) which might account for your "endless scanning".

  • This work for encrypts home folder! – NothingCtrl Nov 23 '18 at 8:01

I personally found that using ncdu worked quite well.

You can install it with the command sudo apt-get install ncdu after you enable the Universe Repository


For me, just running baobab ~ was enough to have it properly check the home folder (mounted .ecryptfs volume).


open a terminal and at the command prompt type

du -sk * | sort -n

This will give you a list of the biggest files or folders in size order, with the largest at the bottom. If a folder is particularly large, cd into it and repeat the process.

  • To include the hidden directories (.cache etc...): du -sch .[!.]* * |sort -h – Thomas Apr 29 '16 at 1:29

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