How can I get the size of all files and all files in its subdirectories using the du command.

I am trying the following command to get the size of all files (and files in subdirectories)

find . -type f | du -a

But this prints out the folder sizes as well. How can I get a listing of sizes of all files and files in subdirectories? I also tried the exec flag but I am not sure how to pipe the output into another command after it executes the results of find into du.

The operating system is AIX 6.1 with ksh shell.


I usually use the -exec utility. Like this:

find . -type f -exec du -a {} +

I tried it both on bash and ksh with GNU find. I never tried AIX, but I'm sure your version of find has some -exec syntax.

The following snippet sorts the list, largest first:

find . -type f -exec du -a {} + | sort -n -r | less
  • 3
    I'd go with this answer if you don't have access to find -print0 or other GNU features. If available, replacing \; with \+ will result in fewer invocations of du and thus better performance. – jw013 Oct 11 '11 at 22:02
  • Thanks, this works out great especially since du offers a flag for size in different units. – Shardul Upadhyay Oct 12 '11 at 12:59
  • I could not find information on the + option. Is that an option for du or for find ? And why does it result in less calls? – Amelio Vazquez-Reina Jul 19 '13 at 22:41
  • 1
    It's a standard option of find. It specifies to exec the command (in our case du) only once, with all the results of find given as successive arguments to the command. – rahmu Jul 20 '13 at 2:25
  • wtf, why isn't there a command like du -f --threshold=1G – Alexander Mills Dec 22 '18 at 3:41

If you have GNU utilities, try

find . -type f -print0 | du --files0-from=-
  • The command is failing saying print0 is not a valid command and that last minus was not a recognized flag. I don't think this approach will work because man du doesn't list a files or from flag. – Shardul Upadhyay Oct 11 '11 at 20:00
  • You should add your operating system as a tag to the question. I assumed you had GNU but forgot to mention that. – jw013 Oct 11 '11 at 20:04
  • 2
    Have an upvote on me! Your particular solution works with du -ch to get a grand total of matching files: find . -name 'blah blah.*' -print0 | du --files0-from=- -ch – Michael Goldshteyn Jul 15 '18 at 14:05

I generally use:

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -r0 du -a

Xargs usually calls the command, even if there are no arguments passed; xargs du </dev/null will still be called, xargs -r du </dev/null will not call du. The -0 argument looks for null-terminated strings instead of newline terminated.

Then I usually add | awk '{sum+=$1} END {print sum}' on the end to get the total.

  • 2
    The then I usually add is worth of gold :-) – Radek Oct 2 '12 at 0:56

Here's a version with long parameter names and human sorting.

find . -type f -exec du --human {} + | sort --human --reverse | head

I also saw no need for -a/--all to be passed to du.


specific files in current dir

du -ch files*

is shorter and works for me

du -sh .

for current dir and all files in sub

du (GNU coreutils) 8.30

  • 2
    (1) What do you mean by du -ch files*?  Suppose the current directory contains ant, apple, banana, bat, cat, corn, date, and dog, where the animal names are subdirectories and the fruit / vegetable names are files — what command would you use to get just the files?  Or is that not what you meant? (2) du -sh . will report only a grand total of everything in and under the current directory, and not the files themselves at all.  This is pretty much the exact opposite of what the question asked for. – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Jan 25 '19 at 23:09

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