Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Maintain your System – Part 14

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

Monitor Disk Usage

Disk Usage Analyzer is a graphical disk usage analyzer that’s pre-installed with Ubuntu 21.04. It offers a simple but effective method of visualizing what files are consuming the most hard disk space.

Linux for Starters - Disk Usage Analyser
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The interface lets you select specific parts of the filesystem. The graphical representation can be switched between a ring chart and a treemap chart so the presentation can be tailored to the specific content being scanned.


Disk Usage Analyzer is a basic tool. Our recommended tool is QDirStat offering a wealth of features. Install the software with the command:

$ sudo apt install qdirstat

Linux for Starters - QDirStat
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QDirStat offers lots of useful package manager support such as its packages view which shows disk usage of installed software packages and their individual files. It’s a great way of showing packages which are consuming the most disk space.

Linux for Starters - QDirStat - Packages
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As the image above shows, the package manager support lets us immediately identify .deb packages that are consuming big chunks of disk space. For example, RStudio is hogging a whopping 792.9MB. Removing packages that you don’t use with the largest disk footprints is a quick and effective way of reclaiming significant disk space.

Bear in mind that Ubuntu also makes extensive use of snaps. QDirStat can show how much disk space they are using. Just point the software to ~/snap

Page 3 – Command-line

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Stacer
Page 2 – Disk Usage
Page 3 – Command-line

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
7Updating the system, install new software.
8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
11Getting help from your system.
12Learn all about the file system.
13Manipulating files from the shell.
14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
15Managing users on your system.
16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
17Gaming on Linux.
18Protect your privacy with this guide.
19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
22Extend your GNOME desktop with extensions and themes.
XUseful Linux commands.
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2 years ago

du is all I use for disk usage