In home directory, df -h $HOME shows

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/disk1      231G  177G   54G  77% /

But in finder

enter image description here

Any ideas?


Attached df -h output

/dev/disk1                    231G  177G   54G  77% /
# this is memory disk
/dev/disk2                    7.0G  677M  6.4G  10% /Users/HOME/Library/Caches
# this is an encrypted dmg
/dev/disk3s2                  9.3G  7.0G  2.3G  76% /Volumes/NOT_HOME
# this is a bindfs
/Volumes/NOT_HOME/xxxx        9.3G  7.0G  2.3G  76% /Users/HOME/Library/some-folder
  • As you can see the mountpoint for $HOME is actually root (/). Therefor the complete disk space is shown compared to the actual data which the finder shows you. Try du -sh $HOME instead to see content for your home directory. Besides that some applications tend to divide by 1000 instead of 1024. – Lambert Mar 3 '17 at 8:41
  • Is it possible to see more details like the whole df -h? – Julie Pelletier Mar 3 '17 at 9:06
  • @JuliePelletier Just added to it. Is it related to the bindfs and memory disk? – daisy Mar 3 '17 at 9:09
  • I doubt it. I just searched up this issue and it seems to normally be related to backups, as mentioned in the answer below. – Julie Pelletier Mar 3 '17 at 19:45

You are very likely using Time Machine backups. Finder shows local time machine backups as free space. This is exaplained in this KB article by apple http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4878.

Local Time Machine backups are shown as free space in finder because they are automatically removed, if free space becomes an issue.

  • Hmm, Time machine is not actually configured ... – daisy Mar 3 '17 at 7:59

I was having this same problem and apparently it was caused by my local time machine snapshots filling up the disk. OSX supposedly clears those snapshot out automatically whenever more space is needed (and so it reports it as available space in Finder), but df doesn't know that.

To solve the issue, you can use the command line utility, tmutil, to purge old snapshots.

To list existing local snapshots:

sudo tmutil listlocalsnapshots /

To clear out 20 gigs (21474836480 bytes) worth of old local snapshots (with a purge priority of 4):

tmutil thinlocalsnapshots / 21474836480 4

the df command will display the space remaining on the filesystem where is your mountpoint $HOME (/Users/$USER) so on a Mac Os X that will be /

So when you are typing :

df -h $HOME

as $HOME is part of the / filesystem it's the same as you type :

df -h /

If you want to compare what says the Finder vs. what say some command in Terminal use :

du -sh $HOME

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