12 Useful “df” Commands to Check Disk Space in Linux

On the internet, you will find plenty of tools for checking disk space utilization in Linux. However, Linux has a strong built-in utility called ‘df‘.

The ‘df‘ command stands for “disk filesystem“, it is used to get a full summary of available and used disk space usage of the file system on the Linux system.

Using ‘-h‘ parameter with (df -h) will show the file system disk space statistics in “human-readable” format, means it gives the details in bytes, megabytes, and gigabyte.

How to Check Disk Space in Linux
Useful df Command Examples

This article explains a way to get the full information of Linux disk space usage with the help of the ‘df‘ command with their practical examples. So, you could better understand the usage of the df command in Linux.

1. Check File System Disk Space Usage

The “df” command displays the information of device name, total blocks, total disk space, used disk space, available disk space, and mount points on a file system.

[[email protected] ~]# df

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2     78361192  23185840  51130588  32% /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5     24797380  22273432   1243972  95% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3     29753588  25503792   2713984  91% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1       295561     21531    258770   8% /boot
tmpfs                   257476         0    257476   0% /dev/shm

2. Display Information of all File System Disk Space Usage

The same as above, but it also displays information of dummy file systems along with all the file system disk usage and their memory utilization.

[[email protected] ~]# df -a

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2     78361192  23186116  51130312  32% /
proc                         0         0         0   -  /proc
sysfs                        0         0         0   -  /sys
devpts                       0         0         0   -  /dev/pts
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5     24797380  22273432   1243972  95% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3     29753588  25503792   2713984  91% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1       295561     21531    258770   8% /boot
tmpfs                   257476         0    257476   0% /dev/shm
none                         0         0         0   -  /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc
sunrpc                       0         0         0   -  /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs

3. Show Disk Space Usage in Human Readable Format

Have you noticed that the above commands display information in bytes, which is not readable at all because we are in a habit of reading the sizes in megabytes, gigabytes, etc. as it makes it very easy to understand and remember.

The df command provides an option to display sizes in Human Readable formats by using '-h' (prints the results in human-readable format (e.g., 1K 2M 3G)).

[[email protected] ~]# df -h

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2      75G   23G   49G  32% /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5      24G   22G  1.2G  95% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3      29G   25G  2.6G  91% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1     289M   22M  253M   8% /boot
tmpfs                 252M     0  252M   0% /dev/shm

4. Display Information of /home File System

To see the information of only device /home file systems in human-readable format use the following command.

[[email protected] ~]# df -hT /home

Filesystem		Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5	ext3     24G   22G  1.2G  95% /home

5. Display Information of File System in Bytes

To display all file system information and usage in 1024-byte blocks, use the option ‘-k‘ (e.g. --block-size=1K) as follows.

[[email protected] ~]# df -k

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2     78361192  23187212  51129216  32% /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5     24797380  22273432   1243972  95% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3     29753588  25503792   2713984  91% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1       295561     21531    258770   8% /boot
tmpfs                   257476         0    257476   0% /dev/shm

6. Display Information of File System in MB

To display information of all file system usage in MB (MegaByte) use the option ‘-m‘.

[[email protected] ~]# df -m

Filesystem           1M-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2        76525     22644     49931  32% /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5        24217     21752      1215  95% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3        29057     24907      2651  91% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1          289        22       253   8% /boot
tmpfs                      252         0       252   0% /dev/shm

7. Display Information of File System in GB

To display information of all file system statistics in GB (Gigabyte) use the option as ‘df -h‘.

[[email protected] ~]# df -h

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2      75G   23G   49G  32% /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5      24G   22G  1.2G  95% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3      29G   25G  2.6G  91% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1     289M   22M  253M   8% /boot
tmpfs                 252M     0  252M   0% /dev/shm

8. Display File System Inodes

Using ‘-i‘ switch will display the information of a number of used inodes and their percentage for the file system.

[[email protected] ~]# df -i

Filesystem            Inodes   IUsed   IFree IUse% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2    20230848  133143 20097705    1% /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5    6403712  798613 5605099   13% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3    7685440 1388241 6297199   19% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1      76304      40   76264    1% /boot
tmpfs                  64369       1   64368    1% /dev/shm

[ You might also like: How to Increase Disk Inode Number in Linux ]

9. Display File System Type

If you notice all the above commands output, you will see there is no Linux file system type mentioned in the results. To check the file system type of your system use the option ‘T‘. It will display file system type along with other information.

[[email protected] ~]# df -T

Filesystem		Type   1K-blocks  Used      Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2	ext3    78361192  23188812  51127616  32%   /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5	ext3    24797380  22273432  1243972   95%   /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3	ext3    29753588  25503792  2713984   91%   /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1	ext3    295561     21531    258770    8%    /boot
tmpfs			tmpfs   257476         0    257476    0%   /dev/shm

10. Include Certain File System Type

If you want to display a certain file system type use the ‘-t‘ option. For example, the following command will only display the ext3 file system.

[[email protected] ~]# df -t ext3

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/cciss/c0d0p2     78361192  23190072  51126356  32% /
/dev/cciss/c0d0p5     24797380  22273432   1243972  95% /home
/dev/cciss/c0d0p3     29753588  25503792   2713984  91% /data
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1       295561     21531    258770   8% /boot

11. Exclude Certain File System Type

If you want to display a file system type that doesn’t belongs to the ext3 type use the option ‘-x‘. For example, the following command will only display other file systems types other than ext3.

[[email protected] ~]# df -x ext3

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
tmpfs                   257476         0    257476   0% /dev/shm

12. Display Information of df Command.

Using '--help‘ switch will display a list of available option that is used with df command.

[[email protected] ~]# df --help

Usage: df [OPTION]... [FILE]...
Show information about the file system on which each FILE resides,
or all file systems by default.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
  -a, --all             include dummy file systems
  -B, --block-size=SIZE use SIZE-byte blocks
  -h, --human-readable  print sizes in human readable format (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)
  -H, --si              likewise, but use powers of 1000 not 1024
  -i, --inodes          list inode information instead of block usage
  -k                    like --block-size=1K
  -l, --local           limit listing to local file systems
      --no-sync         do not invoke sync before getting usage info (default)
  -P, --portability     use the POSIX output format
      --sync            invoke sync before getting usage info
  -t, --type=TYPE       limit listing to file systems of type TYPE
  -T, --print-type      print file system type
  -x, --exclude-type=TYPE   limit listing to file systems, not of type TYPE
  -v                    (ignored)
      --help     display this help and exit
      --version  output version information and exit

SIZE may be (or maybe an integer optionally followed by) one of the following:
kB 1000, K 1024, MB 1000*1000, M 1024*1024, and so on for G, T, P, E, Z, Y.

Report bugs to <[email protected]>.

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54 thoughts on “12 Useful “df” Commands to Check Disk Space in Linux”

  1. The ‘df‘ command stands for “disk filesystem

    This is incorrect. ‘df‘ stands for “disk free“.

    Reply
  2. Hello all,

    I am a newbie to Linux. I am using CentOS 7 in VMWare.

    I tried df -th xfs and got an error as

    "  df: 'xfs' : No such file or directory.  "
    

    But when i reversed the flags and did ‘df -ht xfs‘, I got the proper output.

    So my question is that do we have an overriding concept when it comes to flags as I was confused that why in it showed no such file error with -th? option?

    Reply
  3. Achtually, if you want to be super correct df -h shows usage in Gibibytes, df -H shows Gigabytes. The difference gets noticeable at high amounts and people are more used to thinking in Giga rather than Gibi no matter how much computer techs would prefer it to be the other way around.

    Reply
    • You have put the details other way around -h uses 1024 where as -H uses powers of 1000. -H numbers would be significantly higher than -h.

      Reply
      • I don’t see I left any details on which one is bigger in my original comment. People do get confused when you tell them they have fewer GiB (1024) than they expected since they are used to the smaller GB (1000).

        Reply
        • And here in lies the problem with this nonsense called gibibytes etc.
          I am a computer tech and no other computer techs I know (under the age of 30), give this ridiculous notion of a megabyte being 1000×1000 any time of day.
          Sorry but a megabyte WILL ALWAYS be 1024 kilobytes (1024 bytes) x 1024 kilobytes no matter how hard the push is to rename computing standards to fall in line with other standards of measurements i.e kilogram, kilometre etc

          It’s a real pity that in Linux you can’t show file sizes in traditional/correct megabytes, gigabytes etc
          I see Gibibyte and I think Gigabyte. THAT and mass confusion is all this nonsense has achieved.

          Reply

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