How Do I Find The Largest Top 10 Files and Directories On a Linux

How do I find the largest top files and directories on a Linux or Unix like operating systems?

Sometime it is necessary to find out what file(s) or directories are eating up all your disk space. Further, it may be necessary to find out it at the particular location such as /tmp or /var or /home.


There is no simple command available to find out the largest files/directories on a Linux/UNIX/BSD filesystem. However, combination of following three commands (using pipes) you can easily find out list of largest files:

  • du command : Estimate file space usage.
  • sort command : Sort lines of text files or given input data.
  • head command : Output the first part of files i.e. to display first 10 largest file.
  • find command : Search file.

Type the following command at the shell prompt to find out top 10 largest file/directories:
# du -a /var | sort -n -r | head -n 10