This gives you list of deleted files in your filesystem occupying space (as still open):

find /proc/*/fd -ls 2>/dev/null | grep '(deleted)'

However piping filenames of file descriptors return size 0 :

find /proc/*/fd -ls 2>/dev/null | grep '(deleted)' \
    | sed 's!.*\(/proc[^ ]*\).*!\1!' | xargs ls -lhas

As they have still content , using wc -c provides the size :

find /proc/*/fd -ls 2>/dev/null | grep '(deleted)' \ 
     | sed 's!.*\(/proc[^ ]*\).*!\1!' | xargs wc -c | sort -nr |head -n 20


2809946696 total
2387677184 /proc/15050/fd/26
  67108864 /proc/1626/fd/23
  67108864 /proc/1059/fd/6
  10485760 /proc/11417/fd/298
  10485760 /proc/11417/fd/239
  10485760 /proc/11417/fd/155
  10485760 /proc/11366/fd/499

However, is there a better way (than wc -c of file descriptors marked as (deleted)) to find out which files occupy most space? (or even better, which process occupy most space as keeping open handles to deleted files?)

1 Answer 1


With zsh,

ls -lLrS /proc/*/fd/*(-l0)

would list them ordered by file size (like wc -c, so not disk usage).

For disk usage, you can do:

zmodload zsh/stat
bydu() zstat -A REPLY +block -- $REPLY
ls -lLsU /proc/*/fd/*(-l0no+bydu)

(assuming GNU ls for it's -U for not sorting)

For a disk usage per process, you could do:

typeset -aU proc=(/proc/*/fd/*(-l0.:h:h:t))
for p ($proc) {du -Hksc /proc/$p/fd/*(-.l0) | sed -n "\$s/total\$/$p/p"} | sort -n

(here in kibibytes)

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