How to Install and Use Gdu Disk Usage Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04
Linux has plenty of tools and commands for checking disk utilization. Some of these tools and commands come pre-installed. Take a look at the following list of commands for checking disk usage information, these can be found on many Linux distros by default:
- df: shows usage for file system disk space.
- du: estimates disk usage for files, directories.
- ls -al: displays all the contents of a folder.
- stat: shows the status of a file and file system.
Ubuntu also has a GUI-based tool called ‘Disk Usage Analyzer’ for analyzing disk usage. Likewise there is another tool ‘GDU Disk Usage Analyzer’ to view disk usage on many Linux-based distros and macOS.
GDU is written in ‘Go’ language and the official GitHub page frames it as ‘Pretty fast disk usage analyzer’ particularly for SSDs. It also works for HDDs but the performance is not as efficient as in SDD.
What will we cover
In this guide, I will show you how to install and use the GDU Disk Usage Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04. Let’s get started with this guide.
- Internet access for fetching various files.
- User account with ‘sudo’ access.
Installing GDU Disk Usage Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04
Installation using an archive file
Step 1. The official GitHub page provides a download link for the archive file for GDU. To download the file, follow the command:
Step 2. Now extract the downloaded tar with the command:
tar xzf gdu_linux_amd64.tgz
Step 3. Make the extracted file executable with:
sudo chmod +x gdu_linux_amd64
Step 4. Move the extracted file to the /usr/bin/ directory which contains most of the executable files:
sudo mv gdu_linux_amd64 /usr/bin/gdu
Step 5. If everything has been set up correctly, we can verify the installation, check the version of gdu with the command:
To uninstall GDU, we need to simply remove the GDU executable file from the directory ‘/usr/bin/’ with the command:
sudo rm /usr/bin/gdu
Installation using Snap repository
GDU can also be installed with Snap packages which contain all of its dependencies. Snap packages or simply Snaps can be installed from Snap Store. Snap comes pre-shipped with many popular Linux distributions including Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa). To check, you can use the command ‘snap --version’ and verify.
Step 1. If Snap is not present on your system, you can install it using the below two commands:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install snapd
Step 2. After the above command, simply log out and log in again to update snap’s path in a correct manner.
Step 3. Now install gdu with the command:
sudo snap install gdu-disk-usage-analyzer
Step 4. To fix various settings for GDU, run the following commands:
snap connect gdu-disk-usage-analyzer:mount-observe :mount-observe
snap connect gdu-disk-usage-analyzer:system-backup :system-backup
snap alias gdu-disk-usage-analyzer.gdu gdu
That’s all for installing GDU Disk Usage Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04.
Now that GDU is installed, let us quickly check the usage of various options it provides, just issue the ‘help’ option as argument:
gdu [directory_to_scan] [flags]
-h, --help help for gdu
-i, --ignore-dirs strings Absolute paths to ignore (separated by comma) (default [/proc,/dev,/sys,/run])
-I, --ignore-dirs-pattern strings Absolute path patterns to ignore (separated by comma)
-l, --log-file string Path to a logfile (default "/dev/null")
-m, --max-cores int Set max cores that GDU will use. 3 cores available (default 3)
-c, --no-color Do not use colorized output
-x, --no-cross Do not cross filesystem boundaries
-H, --no-hidden Ignore hidden directories (beginning with dot)
-p, --no-progress Do not show progress in non-interactive mode
-n, --non-interactive Do not run in interactive mode
-a, --show-apparent-size Show apparent size
-d, --show-disks Show all mounted disks
-v, --version Print version
Using GDU Disk Usage Analyzer
1. When no argument (command line option) is used, GDU will scan the current directory you are working on. For e.g. if we run this command on the home directory terminal, the following results are obtained:
2. In case if this command is to be run on some other folder, specify the path for that folder with the command:
$ gdu /home/howtoforge/Downloads
3. To navigate between different directories, the GDU interface uses arrow keys. For e.g., to go inside the ‘Download’ directory use the forward arrow and to return back to it, press the back arrow.
4. To view, how much disk is utilized and amount of free space is available for all the mounted disks, we can use the command:
In the above picture, we can see the details of the mounted disks.
5. To display the apparent size only, use:
6. To set the color scheme to white/gray/black, run:
gdu -c /path/to/folder
7. While running GDU, several flags may appear before the name of files and directories. These flags have special meaning as shown below:
- ‘!’ : indicates an error during a read operation for a directory.
- ‘.’ : indicates an error during a read operation for a subdirectory.
- ‘@’ : Shows that the file is a symlink or a socket.
- ‘H’ : Indicates that the same file was already counted (hard link).
- ‘e’ : Indicates that the Directory is vacant.
A day-to-day task for system admin includes monitoring disk space usage. This helps in deciding whether sufficient space is available for running and installing an application, checking space for system backup, deleting redundant files etc. GDU is a very simple to use but efficient application to monitor disk space.