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I'd like to sort all the directories/files in a specific directory based on their size (using du -sh "name").

I need to apply this command to all directories in my location, then sort them based on this result. How can I do that ?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

With GNU sort and GNU du (which it appears you have, since you state you are using du's -h option):

du -sh -- *  | sort -rh  # Files and directories, or
du -sh -- */ | sort -rh  # Directories only

The output looks something like this:

22G     foo/
21G     bar/
5.4G    baz/
2.1G    qux/
1021M   wibble/
4.0K    wobble/
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This is an improved version based on jabalv's answer. It works with a GNU as well as a BSD userland.

IFS='\n' du -sk -- * | sort -n | cut -f2 |
while read line ; do
  xargs du -sh "$line"

sample output:

4.0K  games
2.7M  local
6.7M  lib32
19M   sbin
152M  src
177M  include
321M  bin
2.2G  share
2.9G  lib

To reverse the sort order and list the largest files and directories first, use sort -nr.

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Sorting by block sizes and then turn that into human readable:

du -sk * | sort -nr | cut -f2 | xargs du -sh
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This fails if the directory names contain whitespace. – Marco Dec 23 '13 at 9:59

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