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The disk usage command.

The Linux disk usage command "du" is a handy command used to check information about the disk usage of files and directories on the server. The command has many flags you can use to expand the result or change its format, making it more readable in the process. When used alone without any options it will provide a list of the directories and their size recursively. 

Here is an example of the command used by itself:

[[email protected]]# du /home/user
50       /home/user/downloads
4        /home/user/.chrome/plugins
4        /home/user/.chrome/extensions
11       /home/user/.chrome
11       /home/user/.ssh
781000   /home/user/Ubuntu-16.10
781080   /home/user

By default, the information about the disk utilization will be provided in bytes. We will give you a couple of useful examples of this command that will make the output a lot more understandable. 

Here is an example of this command when used with the "-h" flag which stands for "Human Readable". It will convert the output into MegaBytes:

[[email protected]]# du -h /home/user
50K /home/user/downloads 
4.0K /home/user/.chrome/plugins
4.0K /home/user/.chrome/extensions
11K /home/user/.chrome
11K /home/user/.ssh
763M /home/user/Ubuntu-16.10
763M /home/user

Instead of having this command show a list of all the directories and their size, and make it show the total disk space inside the folder, you can use the "-s" option which stands for "Summary":

[[email protected]]# du -sh /home/user
763M /home/user

We recommend combining the above command with it the "-h" flag to generate the output in a human-readable format. The flag we are gonna discuss in this tutorial is the "-a" flag, which stands for "All".

[[email protected]]# du -ah /home/user
4.0K    /home/user/.bash_logout
50M     /home/user/downloads/Joomla_3.9.16-Stable-Full_Package.tgz
350K     /home/user/downloads/
40K     /home/user/downloads
25M     /home/user/
4.0K    /home/user/.chrome/plugins
4.0K    /home/user/.chrome/extensions
12K     /home/user/.chrome
4.0K    /home/user/.bashrc
763M    /home/user/Ubuntu-16.10/ubuntu-16.10-server-i386.iso
763M    /home/user/Ubuntu-16.10
1214M    /home/user

The "-a" flag will display the size of all the directories and files regardless of their extension and format. Again, we recommend combining it with the "-h" option to make the output cleaner.

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