How to Install and Use the duf Command on Linux

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Duf is a command-line tool for viewing your system’s disk usage and free space. It combines into one place the information you might otherwise get from the du and df commands and presents that information in a clean and modern interface. In this guide, you learn more about duf, how it compares to the du and df commands, and how to install it on your Linux system.

Before You Begin

  1. If you have not already done so, create a Linode account and Compute Instance. See our Getting Started with Linode and Creating a Compute Instance guides.

  2. Follow our Setting Up and Securing a Compute Instance guide to update your system. You may also wish to set the timezone, configure your hostname, create a limited user account, and harden SSH access.

Note
The steps in this guide are written for non-root users. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you’re not familiar with the sudo command, see the Linux Users and Groups guide.

What is duf?

duf gives you a single tool for checking disk usage and free space. By default, Linux systems provide the du and df tools for viewing disk usage and space, respectively, from the command line. Duf presents the same information as du and df and renders it in a modern and easy-to-read command-line display.

Where du and df give you limited control over how information is shown, duf gives you options for sorting, filtering, and otherwise altering the display. You can learn more about du and df in our How to Check and Clean a Linux System’s Disk Space guide.

In the following sections, you can see some examples of how duf compares to du and df. Specifically, take a look at the How to Use duf section below to see side-by-side comparisons.

How to Install duf

  1. Visit the duf releases page, find the latest release, and identify the package file appropriate for your machine. Then, copy the URL for the file you identify.

    To do this, you need to know your system’s CPU architecture, which you can get via the command below:

     lscpu | grep Architecture
    
    • For x86_64 (like in the example output below), use a package ending in linux_amd64 from the duf releases page.
    • For i386 or i686, use a package ending in linux_386 from the duf releases page.
    • Otherwise, you should generally be able to find a package ending in linux_ followed by your system’s listed architecture.
    Architecture:        x86_64

    Use the corresponding package file ending in .deb if you are on a Debian or Ubuntu distribution or a .rpm file extension if you are on an RHEL distribution like AlmaLinux, CentOS, or Fedora.

    So, for example, on a Debian system with an x86_64 (AMD64) architecture, use the duf_0.6.2_linux_amd64.deb file (assuming 0.6.2 is the latest release).

  2. Download the package file using the command below. Replace the URL with the one you copied in the step above.

     curl -LO https://github.com/muesli/duf/releases/download/v0.6.2/duf_0.6.2_linux_amd64.deb
    
  3. Install duf from the downloaded package. You can use one of the following methods, depending on your Linux distribution. Be sure to replace the example filename with the actual filename of the package file you downloaded.

    • On Debian and Ubuntu distributions, use the following command:

        sudo dpkg -i duf_0.6.2_linux_amd64.deb
      
    • On AlmaLinux, CentOS, and Fedora, use the following command:

        sudo rpm -i duf_0.6.2_linux_amd64.rpm
      
  4. Verify your installation by checking the installed version of duf.

     duf --version
    
    duf 0.6.2 (d1d2865)

How to Use duf

For basic usage, you can just run the duf command alone, and you should see an output similar to the following:

This provides roughly the equivalent of the sudo df -h command, as you can see from the output below:

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev            3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /dev
tmpfs           798M  8.4M  790M   2% /run
/dev/sda        158G  1.1G  149G   1% /
tmpfs           3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs           5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs           3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs           798M     0  798M   0% /run/user/1001

You can use a command like sudo du / -sh to get local drive usage alone.

1.1G	/

Notice that, compared to the du and df commands, duf makes the information much easier to read, separating information by device type and clearly demarcating fields.

You can go even deeper with duf, listing information for pseudo, duplicate, and inaccessible devices as well.

duf --all

Duf gives an array of additional options to let you control what information you see. You can see the examples of these options presented in the following sections.

Limit Results by Path

You can limit your results by passing one or more paths to the duf command, separated by spaces. For each path, duf includes an entry for the relevant device, and all non-matching devices are excluded from the output.

The example below gives duf three paths. Notice that the output has three entries, each corresponding to a device for one of the input paths.

duf /dev /etc/opt /var/log

Sorting and Arranging

Duf allows you to define how its displayed tables should be sorted, via the --sort option. You can sort by avail, filesystem, inodes, inodes_avail, inodes_usage, inodes_used, mountpoint, size, type, usage, or used.

Below is an example sorting the tables by used:

duf --sort used

Similarly, duf allows you to define what columns you want to show in each table, by way of the --output option. This option accepts the same set of columns used for sorting (above), and you can list multiple columns as a comma-separated list (no spaces).

Below is an example that produces tables with device size, available space, used space, and usage percentage.

duf --output size,avail,used,usage

Defining columns for duf tables

Filtering

Duf gives you two options for filtering out devices.

  • You can filter by display table using the --only and --hide options. Duf displays devices in one of six tables, based on the kinds of devices: local, network, fuse, special, loops, and binds.

    So, to show only devices included in the local and network tables, use the following command:

      duf --only local, network
    

    Similarly, to exclude devices included in the fuse, loops, and binds tables, use the following command:

      duf --hide fuse,loops,binds
    
  • You can filter by devices' file systems using the --only-fs and --hide-fs options.

    To show only devices with tmpfs file systems, for instance, use the following command:

      duf --only-fs tmpfs
    

Export to JSON

Duf also supports exporting your results in a JSON format. This export option allows the output to be easily used in custom applications.

duf --json
[
 {
  "device": "sysfs",
  "device_type": "special",
  "mount_point": "/sys",
  "fs_type": "sysfs",
  "type": "sysfs",
  "opts": "rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime",
  "total": 0,
  "free": 0,
  "used": 0,
  "inodes": 0,
  "inodes_free": 0,
  "inodes_used": 0,
  "blocks": 0,
  "block_size": 4096
 },
 [...]

Conclusion

Duf makes an easy and capable everyday replacement for du and df, with its quick and clear presentation and much wider range of features. You can learn more about duf, and a few more options it offers, on its official GitHub page.

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