xdiskusage: where is the space?

August 12th, 2007 edited by ana

Article submitted by Carles Pina from Catux-LUG. We have run out of good articles! Please help DPOTD and submit good articles about software you like!

Have you ever wished to know where are those files that waste space on your hard drive? Have you ever wondered which folder contained the most gigabytes? Your wishes had become true! xdiskusage is your application.

Using xdiskusage you can discover very easily how your hard drive’s directories are organised, and specially how much space is used by each one.

After executing xdiskusage without arguments, the initial default view will be the list of partitions:

Main view

By double-clicking in some partition you will get the list of the biggest directories (arranged by size) and the space that each one is using:

root view
(notice that free space is shown as another directory)

You can double-click in any other directory to explore it. Right-clicking shows a menu with some options like hide, unhide, go in, go out, etc. Just play with it!

xdiskusage is also a fantastic complement for “du”:

$ cd /tmp
$ du | xdiskusage

You can give any directory as an argument to xdiskusage:

$ xdiskusage /usr/src

One last thing: the -a switch shows files and not only directories:

File view


In Debian you can fine some alternatives to xdiskusage like:

  • gt5: not in Debian Etch. HTML based, needs a browser to navigate (text or graphical)
  • baobab: GTK based
  • filelight: KDE libs based
  • kdirstat: KDE based

The last three of them are more eye candy than xdiskusage, but I preferred a simpler solution, without that many dependencies. Of course, feel free to test and choose!


xdiskusage has been available in both Debian and Ubuntu since a long time ago.

Note that there is a bug that doesn’t allow the application to be launched by app-launchers such as Alt + F2 or menus. It’s a reported bug (Debian bug #276193).

Thanks to Fran Hermoso for correcting the text again, and to Muzzol from the Catalan-Ubuntu mailing list for commenting it.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

10 Responses

  1. Ingo Wagener Says:

    Thanks for the article - I’ve used kdirstat to this day and - although it does the job well xdiskusage seems to me to be closer to getting the job done and is quite simply quicker.

  2. Matteo Says:

    In Debian there is also gdmap, my favourite.

  3. Richard Says:

    filelight (KDE) looks beautiful and really usable too.

    My favorite is filelight.

  4. Wei Says:

    Hi. I just use the Disk Usage in Krusder. It’s very convenient and fast. Just Alt+D on the folder you want to check.

  5. ubuntero Says:

    wow. xdiskusage is great. I really wanted a program like this.

    Thank you vey much for the discovering. Y gracias a los amigos de Catux

  6. KarlMW Says:

    for console, ncdu is a nice ‘equivalent’ - not so graphical, of course, but it still makes it easy to navigate around your filesystem and see where all the space is being used.

  7. Christophe Monniez Says:

    There is also Baobab in Gnome (it seems to look like Firelight).
    Find it in your menu :
    Applications - System tools - Disk usage Analyzer.

  8. Bram Schoenmakers Says:

    I’m missing the fsview KPart, which comes with kdeaddons and embeds in Konqueror.

  9. vasaka Says:

    also very nice one is fsview in konqueror-nls-plugins

  10. Jihem Says:

    In console mode, durep is as readable as the graphic tools!