I know how to check space left with:

df -h

and I know to check the space of a folder with:

du -ch /path/to/folder/

But let's say I have a 500 GB HardDisk and 350GB are used:

  • Wich is the best tool/command to get how the space is distributed ?

  • Should I do du -ch / ? (I think this is not optimal)

  • There is any special tool/app to do this ?

I'd like an app that stores how the space is distributed in my system, wich are the space occuped in each folder...

I'd like to have something like SpaceSniffer (You can check the windows tool here). It is a Windows program that examine your HardDisk and show in a easy & nice IU how the space is distributed on your computer

This kind of software is awesome for that day you check your HardDisk and it seems you've "lost" hundred of GB's and don't know where they are !


  • I've tried baobab and runs/works perfectly in my Ubuntu machine, I tested also JDiskReport, here I have to fix some issues but it works in Ubuntu & Windows

  • I assume JDiskReport will work in any  OS with Java installed, that's why I choose as correct answer. I've tried this in Ubuntu, Windows 8, Raspbian and CentOS and works in all of them (you have to install Java)

  • I have to say for those lovers of command-line your choice should be ncdu, it's awesome !!!

Baobab IU:

This is the baobab IU

  • 2
    Do you mean [apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/baobab/](Disk Usage Analyzer) (baobab)?
    – ignis
    Dec 15, 2014 at 10:14
  • Exactly! I saw that after I asked the question, I'm checking it. Thanks !
    – AlvaroAV
    Dec 15, 2014 at 10:14
  • In Windows you also could use windirstat.
    – Fjor
    Nov 6, 2020 at 6:12

8 Answers 8


One nice Gnome application is baobab. It comes with default ubuntu installation.

enter image description here

To get it,

sudo apt-get install baobab

apt-cache show baobab

Description-en: GNOME disk usage analyzer
 Disk Usage Analyzer is a graphical, menu-driven application to analyse
 disk usage in a GNOME environment. It can easily scan either the whole
 filesystem tree, or a specific user-requested directory branch (local or
 It also auto-detects in real-time any changes made to your home
 directory as far as any mounted/unmounted device. Disk Usage Analyzer
 also provides a full graphical treemap window for each selected folder.
  • 3
    This was installed in my Ubuntu 14.04 and I didn't know about it
    – AlvaroAV
    Dec 15, 2014 at 10:23
  • Yes. It is a standard ubuntu program, installed to a fresh system. Dec 16, 2014 at 9:59
  • If they change the name to something more noticeable or integrate it to system (setting) utility more people would find it. May 10, 2015 at 17:34


If you use the command line, you could use ncdu. It uses a command-line GUI (ncurses).


sudo apt-get install ncdu


From its webpage:

[...] ncdu: A disk usage analyzer with an ncurses interface, aimed to be run on a remote server where you don't have an entire gaphical setup, but have to do with a simple SSH connection. ncdu aims to be fast, simple and easy to use, and should be able to run in any minimal POSIX-like environment with ncurses installed.


Screenshot from the ncdu webpage


Check out the disk usage of your home directory:

ncdu ~

You can enter subdirectories and delete files / whole folders from within the tool.

  • 1
    This is awesome ! I've been trying this last minutes and its perfect
    – AlvaroAV
    Dec 15, 2014 at 14:36
  • I'm used to Baobab which works great but having a command-line tool is really a nice option :) thanks.
    – daks
    Dec 17, 2014 at 13:42

Another very useful app for this is:


Is very similar to windows SpaceSniffer and has a very useful and intuitive IU.

You need Java to use it but it can run in every OS with Java

The user interface:

JDiskReport example in linux

Hope it helps !

  • This sounds pretty nice and close to SpaceSniffer ! Thanks!
    – AlvaroAV
    Dec 15, 2014 at 10:21

Use the ducks:

du -cks *|sort -rn|head -n11

This will list the top ten subdirectories and files in the current path and the space they are using, and a total.

If you change the -cks to -cms it reports in MB's instead of KB's, which is probably more useful these days.

You can add x to the options on du to prevent it going into other file systems, if needbe.

(Credit: Linux Server Hacks, O'Reilly)

  • 1
    I use dush, for human readable sizes: du -sh | sort -h
    – yuric
    Dec 16, 2014 at 17:12
  • @YuriC That's excellent. I'd forgotten the -h option to sort.
    – Nagora
    Dec 20, 2014 at 11:57

There is also kde application available on repository: Filelight

You can install it with sudo apt-get install filelight


       filelight - Graphical disk-usage information


       filelight [Qt-options] [KDE-options] [path]


       Allows you to exactly understand exactly your disk usage by graphically
       representating your filesystem as a set of concentric  segmented-rings.

Screenshot:- screenshot


A bit late to collect a bounty, but the elephant in the room is missing!

gparted is the application of choice for me to show how disk space is distributed in the entire system.

Even for a Windows system prior to upgrading to Ubuntu, as seen below:

Screenshot of user prior to moving to Ubuntu


If you want to work with the installed tools, you could use du -sh /* which shows you the accumulated usage for each folder (and file) in / You can then do this for subfolders until you found what you are looking for. Of course, the tools mentioned in other answers are much nicer, but sometimes you can't easily install them.

  • I asked the question because du seems to be not optimal when using over path /. It takes too long and it's not as intuitive as the other tools. Thanks Anyways !!
    – AlvaroAV
    Dec 16, 2014 at 11:23
  • 1
    if you do du -s /* it shouldn't take longer than any of the other tools!
    – Josef
    Dec 16, 2014 at 11:26
  • I'll check it then !!
    – AlvaroAV
    Dec 16, 2014 at 11:27

Another option with simple and easy to understand interface:

  1. xdiskusage ( sudo apt-get install xdiskusage)

    After installing call it from terminal - xdiskusage

  2. KDirStat ( sudo apt-get install kdirstat)

This app is intended mainly for KDE.

  1. Gd map ( sudo apt-get install gdmap) The Gnome alternative to KdirsStat.

Also this link gives some more apps: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-analyze-your-disk-usage-pattern-in-linux/

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