How to check free disk space in Linux

How to check free disk space in Linux

Keep track of disk utilization with this handy list of commands.

Magnifying glass on code
Image credits : 
Lewis Cowles, CC BY-SA 4.0

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Keeping track of disk utilization information is on system administrators' (and others') daily to-do list. Linux has a few built-in utilities that help provide that information.


The df command stands for "disk-free," and shows available and used disk space on the Linux system.

df -h shows disk space in human-readable format

df -a shows the file system's complete disk usage even if the Available field is 0

df -T shows the disk usage along with each block's filesystem type (e.g., xfs, ext2, ext3, btrfs, etc.)

df -i shows used and free inodes


du shows the disk usage of files, folders, etc. in the default kilobyte size

du -h shows disk usage in human-readable format for all directories and subdirectories

du -a shows disk usage for all files

du -s provides total disk space used by a particular file or directory

The following commands will check your total space and your utilized space.

ls -al

ls -al lists the entire contents, along with their size, of a particular directory


stat <file/directory> displays the size and other stats of a file/directory or a filesystem.

fdisk -l

fdisk -l shows disk size along with disk partitioning information

These are most of the built-in utilities for checking file space in Linux. There are many similar tools, like Disks (GUI), Ncdu, etc., that also show disk space utilization. Do you have a favorite tool that's not on this list? Please share in the comments.


About the author

Archit Modi - OpenStack enthusiast. Linux and Networking guy. Currently working as a Software Test Engineer at Red Hat, involved in Nova project- OpenStack. Just trying to give my two cents in this billion-trillion dollar "Open Source" world.