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This command:

$ time (\ls /path/to/lots/of/dir*/*/*/*.ext > inputs.txt )

real    1m9.064s
user    1m3.265s
sys     0m5.993s

Gives me a huge list of file names inside the file "inputs.txt".

I need to know the total size of all files described in inputs.txt, preferably without list all of them.

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You need to use the option -c of du:

du -csh /path/to/lots/of/dir*/*/*/*.ext

To show only the final count, you can use tail -n 1:

du -csh /path/to/lots/of/dir*/*/*/*.ext | tail -n 1
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