Batch Sort Folders by Size With Linux DU


Use Linux DU to batch check and sort folder sizes in Linux.
You can also use Linux DU command on a Windows share or a NAS CIFS/NFS share.

Linux DU

Our users Home directories are placed in /u/
We then have groups for different users like “admins”,”students”: /u/students/USERNAME

I needed a script that creates a Text file with a Size sorted list of folders so I can check for Quota oversize.
NetAPP sort is not comfortable enough to use as it sorts by the first letter and not by actual size.
For example: NetAPP sort – 200,20,2,100,10,1 vs Needed sort 200,100,20,10,2,1.

So I have mounted the NFS share exported by the NetAPP and I use Linux DU command to scan and sort folders:


echo "Getting Quota Sizes"


rm -rf $logfile

for group in `ls /u/`;
        for i in `ls /u/$group/`;
        if [ $i != "Expired" -a $i != "MOVED" -a $i != ".snapshot" ]  ;
                echo "Getting $group/$i Folder Size"
                du -s /u/$group/$i/ >> $logfile
echo "Sorting Results"
sort -k1 -n -r $logfile >> $logfile.txt
rm -rf $logfile
echo "Done !!"

Linux DU Command Switches

Usage: du [OPTION]... [FILE]...
  or:  du [OPTION]... --files0-from=F
Summarize disk usage of each FILE, recursively for directories.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
  -a, --all             write counts for all files, not just directories
      --apparent-size   print apparent sizes, rather than disk usage; although
                          the apparent size is usually smaller, it may be
                          larger due to holes in (`sparse') files, internal
                          fragmentation, indirect blocks, and the like
  -B, --block-size=SIZE  use SIZE-byte blocks
  -b, --bytes           equivalent to `--apparent-size --block-size=1'

  -c, --total           produce a grand total
  -D, --dereference-args  dereference only symlinks that are listed on the
                          command line
      --files0-from=F   summarize disk usage of the NUL-terminated file
                          names specified in file F;
                          If F is - then read names from standard input
  -H                    equivalent to --dereference-args (-D)
  -h, --human-readable  print sizes in human readable format (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)
      --si              like -h, but use powers of 1000 not 1024
  -k                    like --block-size=1K
  -l, --count-links     count sizes many times if hard linked
  -m                    like --block-size=1M
  -L, --dereference     dereference all symbolic links
  -P, --no-dereference  don't follow any symbolic links (this is the default)
  -0, --null            end each output line with 0 byte rather than newline
  -S, --separate-dirs   do not include size of subdirectories
  -s, --summarize       display only a total for each argument
  -x, --one-file-system    skip directories on different file systems
  -X, --exclude-from=FILE  exclude files that match any pattern in FILE
      --exclude=PATTERN    exclude files that match PATTERN
      --max-depth=N     print the total for a directory (or file, with --all)
                          only if it is N or fewer levels below the command
                          line argument;  --max-depth=0 is the same as
      --time            show time of the last modification of any file in the
                          directory, or any of its subdirectories
      --time=WORD       show time as WORD instead of modification time:
                          atime, access, use, ctime or status
      --time-style=STYLE  show times using style STYLE:
                          full-iso, long-iso, iso, +FORMAT
                          FORMAT is interpreted like `date'

      --help     display this help and exit
      --version  output version information and exit

Display values are in units of the first available SIZE from --block-size,
and the DU_BLOCK_SIZE, BLOCK_SIZE and BLOCKSIZE environment variables.
Otherwise, units default to 1024 bytes (or 512 if POSIXLY_CORRECT is set).

SIZE may be (or may be an integer optionally followed by) one of following:
KB 1000, K 1024, MB 1000*1000, M 1024*1024, and so on for G, T, P, E, Z, Y.

Report du bugs to
GNU coreutils home page: <>
General help using GNU software: <>
For complete documentation, run: info coreutils 'du invocation'

All done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.