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KDirStat: Visual Disk Space Mapper

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 29 Aug 2005

Applies to:

  • Platforms using KDE 3.4

When I am the administrator for a machine, I like to be able to make decisions quickly. For example, when a hard drive fills up, I would like to be able to quickly find the largest files. This ability will allow me to browse through them. I can make quick decisions about backing them up, moving them to another machine, or just removing them. It sure would be nice to have a tool that allowed me to view my hard drive from the angle of how much space the files took up. To put the icing on the cake, I would like it to be a visually oriented application. I'd like to run it as a windowed application rather from the commandline. Does such a tool exist?

I found that such a tool does exist, called KDirStat. To access this tool, go to the K Menu, select the SYSTEM menu, then the FILE SYSTEM menu, and click on KDirStat:

The program then opens, and a dialog appears, asking you which directory you would like to analyze:

Browse to the directory of your choice, and then click OK. KDirStat then goes through, analyzing the size and contents of this folder. It also calculates the size of all of its subfolders:

When it's done, it will show you the results in two different panes. The top section is like a file browser, allowing you to search and browse results. The bottom section is a graphical representation of the sizes of all of the folders and files in them in relation to all the other folders and files:

KDirStat is a really nice tool for browsing the system looking for large files. If you are a system administrator, this is a great application to add to your list of tools.

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