Linux Basics: How To Find Size of Directory Commands

This is the first in a series of posts in coming where I’ll be writing about some¬†basic commands that that will be of good use to new users.

Note: This is targeted at people little or no command line experience..

How can I as a new user to Linux display directory properties from the terminal?


The only requirement is the du command line tool. du comes with almost every Linux distro by default.

Check if du it’s on your system by running the command below in the terminal:

man du

du command estimates file space usage

Using du

Running du with no flag displays names of all directories including sub-directories and sizes in bytes.



Using the -h flag displays the sizes in human readable format, that is K, M and G representing Kilobyte, Megabyte and Gigabyte respectively.

du - h


To view a specific directory indicate that after du and flag as shown below:

du -h Mapmaker


Use -c to see grand total displayed:

du -ch


Use -s flag to display only grand total / disk space used for specific directories:

du -sh Mapmaker Sandbox


See man du for more flags and there uses

man du

man du

Knows other combinations of du? Share with myself and others here too.