dutree: A Powerful Disk Usage Tracker for Linux File Systems

dutree is a free, open-source, fast command-line tool for analyzing disk usage, written in the Rust programming language, which is developed from the combination of durep (disk usage reporter) and tree (list directory content in tree-like format) command-line tools. As a result, dutree reports disk usage in a tree-like format.

dutree displays colored output, depending on the values configured in the GNU LS_COLORS environment variable. This environment variable allows for setting the colors of files based on their extension, permissions, and file type.

dutree Features:

  • Show the file system tree.
  • Supports aggregating of small files.
  • Allows for comparing different directories.
  • Supports excluding files or directories.

How to Install dutree in Linux Systems

To install dutree in Linux distributions, you must have rust programming language installed on your system. If you don’t have Rust installed, you can use the following curl command to install it as shown.

$ sudo curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh
Install Rust in Linux
Install Rust on Linux

Once Rust is installed, you can run the following command to install dutree in Linux distributions as shown.

$ cargo install --git https://github.com/nachoparker/dutree.git
Install dutree in Linux
Install dutree in Linux

After installing dutree, it uses environment colors according to the variable LS_COLORS, it has the same colors ls –color command that our distro has configured.

$ ls --color

The simplest way of running dutree is without arguments, this way it shows a filesystem tree.

$ dutree
Linux Filesystem Disk Usage
Linux Filesystem Disk Usage

To display real disk usage instead of file size, use the -u flag.

$ dutree -u 
Show Linux Disk Usage
Show Linux Disk Usage

Show Directories in Depth

You can show directories up to a given depth (default 1), using the -d flag. The command below will show directories up to a depth of 3, under the current working directory.

For example if the current working directory (~/), then display the size of ~/*/*/* as shown in the following sample screenshot.

$ dutree -d 3
Show Directories in Depth Disk Usage
Show Directories in Depth Disk Usage

Exclude Files or Directories in Output

To exclude matching a file or directory name, use the -x flag.

$ dutree -x CentOS-7.0-1406-x86_64-DVD.iso 
Show Disk Usage with Exclude Filename
Show Disk Usage with Exclude Filename

You can also get a quick local overview by skipping directories, using the -f option, like so.

$ dutree -f
Quick Overview by Skipping Directories
Quick Overview by Skipping Directories

A full summary/overview can be generated using the -s flag as shown.

$ dutree -s
Linux Disk Usage Summary
Linux Disk Usage Summary

Aggregate Small Files

It is possible to aggregate files smaller than a certain size, default is 1M as shown.

$ dutree -a 
Aggregate Small Files
Aggregate Small Files

Exclude Hidden Files

The -H switch allows for excluding hidden files in the output.

$ dutree -H

The -b option is used to print sizes in bytes, instead of kilobytes (default).

$ dutree -b

To turn off colors, and only display ASCII characters, use the -A flag like so.

$ dutree -A

You can view the dutree help message using the -h option.

$ dutree -h

Usage: dutree [options]  [..]
    -d, --depth [DEPTH] show directories up to depth N (def 1)
    -a, --aggr [N[KMG]] aggregate smaller than N B/KiB/MiB/GiB (def 1M)
    -s, --summary       equivalent to -da, or -d1 -a1M
    -u, --usage         report real disk usage instead of file size
    -b, --bytes         print sizes in bytes
    -x, --exclude NAME  exclude matching files or directories
    -H, --no-hidden     exclude hidden files
    -A, --ascii         ASCII characters only, no colors
    -h, --help          show help
    -v, --version       print version number

dutree is a simple yet powerful command-line tool to show file size and analyze disk usage in a tree-like format, on Linux systems. Use the comment form below to share your thoughts or queries about it, with us.

Aaron Kili
Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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    • @Grokker,

      I agree. The fact that dutree hasn’t been updated in over 4 years is not a good sign. It means that the project is no longer being actively maintained…

    • I prefer ncdu, which is an NCurses-based du (disk usage) viewer that provides a fast and easy-to-use interface through the famous du utility.

      It allows one to browse through the directories and show percentages of disk usage with the ncurses library.

  1. Looks tempting to use on a local workstation, but for remote ssh sessions the display will not look the same. I recommend “ncdu” in that case since it is most likely already available in one of the common Linux repositories regardless of the flavor.


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