Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Tags: File Handling    

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go DiskUsage()

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Pretty fast disk usage analyzer written in Go.

Gdu is intended primarily for SSD disks where it can fully utilize parallel processing. However HDDs work as well, but the performance gain is not so huge.



Head for the releases page and download the binary for your system.

Using curl:

curl -L https://github.com/dundee/gdu/releases/latest/download/gdu_linux_amd64.tgz | tar xz
chmod +x gdu_linux_amd64
mv gdu_linux_amd64 /usr/bin/gdu

Arch Linux:

pacman -S gdu


apt install gdu


add-apt-repository ppa:daniel-milde/gdu
apt-get update
apt-get install gdu


nix-env -iA nixos.gdu


brew install -f gdu
brew link --overwrite gdu  # if you have coreutils installed as well


snap install gdu-disk-usage-analyzer
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


binenv install gdu


go install github.com/dundee/gdu/v5/cmd/gdu@latest


  gdu [flags] [directory_to_scan]

      --config-file string            Read config from file (default is $HOME/.gdu.yaml)
  -g, --const-gc                      Enable memory garbage collection during analysis with constant level set by GOGC
      --enable-profiling              Enable collection of profiling data and provide it on http://localhost:6060/debug/pprof/
  -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)
  -X, --ignore-from string            Read absolute path patterns to ignore from file
  -f, --input-file string             Import analysis from JSON file
  -l, --log-file string               Path to a logfile (default "/dev/null")
  -m, --max-cores int                 Set max cores that GDU will use. 8 cores available (default 8)
  -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)
      --no-mouse                      Do not use mouse
      --no-prefix                     Show sizes as raw numbers without any prefixes (SI or binary) in non-interactive mode
  -p, --no-progress                   Do not show progress in non-interactive mode
  -n, --non-interactive               Do not run in interactive mode
  -o, --output-file string            Export all info into file as JSON
  -a, --show-apparent-size            Show apparent size
  -d, --show-disks                    Show all mounted disks
  -B, --show-relative-size            Show relative size
      --si                            Show sizes with decimal SI prefixes (kB, MB, GB) instead of binary prefixes (KiB, MiB, GiB)
  -s, --summarize                     Show only a total in non-interactive mode
  -v, --version                       Print version
      --write-config                  Write current configuration to file (default is $HOME/.gdu.yaml)


gdu                                   # analyze current dir
gdu -a                                # show apparent size instead of disk usage
gdu <some_dir_to_analyze>             # analyze given dir
gdu -d                                # show all mounted disks
gdu -l ./gdu.log <some_dir>           # write errors to log file
gdu -i /sys,/proc /                   # ignore some paths
gdu -I '.*[abc]+'                     # ignore paths by regular pattern
gdu -X ignore_file /                  # ignore paths by regular patterns from file
gdu -c /                              # use only white/gray/black colors

gdu -n /                              # only print stats, do not start interactive mode
gdu -np /                             # do not show progress, useful when using its output in a script
gdu -nps /some/dir                    # show only total usage for given dir
gdu / > file                          # write stats to file, do not start interactive mode

gdu -o- / | gzip -c >report.json.gz   # write all info to JSON file for later analysis
zcat report.json.gz | gdu -f-         # read analysis from file


Gdu has three modes: interactive (default), non-interactive and export.

Non-interactive mode is started automatically when TTY is not detected (using go-isatty), for example if the output is being piped to a file, or it can be started explicitly by using a flag.

Export mode (flag -o) outputs all usage data as JSON, which can be later opened using the -f flag.

Hard links are counted only once.

File flags

Files and directories may be prefixed by a one-character flag with following meaning:

  • ! An error occurred while reading this directory.

  • . An error occurred while reading a subdirectory, size may be not correct.

  • @ File is symlink or socket.

  • H Same file was already counted (hard link).

  • e Directory is empty.

Configuration file

Gdu can read (and write) YAML configuration file.

$HOME/.config/gdu/gdu.yaml and $HOME/.gdu.yaml are checked for the presense of the config file by default.


  • To configure gdu to permanently run in gray-scale color mode:
echo "no-color: true" > ~/.gdu.yaml
  • To set default sorting in configuration file:
    by: name // size, name, itemCount, mtime
    order: desc
  • To save the current configuration
gdu --write-config


There are wast ways how terminals can be colored. Some gdu primitives (like basic text) addapt to different color schemas, but the selected/highlighted row does not.

If the default look is not sufficient, it can be changed in configuration file, e.g.:

        text-color: black
        background-color: "#ff0000"

Memory usage

Automatic balancing

Gdu tries to balance performance and memory usage.

When less memory is used by gdu than the total free memory of the host, then Garbage Collection is disabled during the analysis phase completely to gain maximum speed.

Otherwise GC is enabled. The more memory is used and the less memory is free, the more often will the GC happen.

Manual memory usage control

If you want manual control over Garbage Collection, you can use --const-gc / -g flag. It will run Garbage Collection during the analysis phase with constant level of aggressiveness. As a result, the analysis will be about 25% slower and will consume about 30% less memory. To change the level, you can set the GOGC environment variable to specify how often the garbage collection will happen. Lower value (than 100) means GC will run more often. Higher means less often. Negative number will stop GC.

Example running gdu with constant GC, but not so aggressive as default:

GOGC=200 gdu -g /

Running tests

make install-dev-dependencies
make test


Benchmarks were performed on 50G directory (100k directories, 400k files) on 500 GB SSD using hyperfine. See benchmark target in [Makefile](Makefile) for more info.


Gdu can collect profiling data when the --enable-profiling flag is set. The data are provided via embedded http server on URL http://localhost:6060/debug/pprof/.

You can then use e.g. go tool pprof -web http://localhost:6060/debug/pprof/heap to open the heap profile as SVG image in your web browser.

Cold cache

Filesystem cache was cleared using sync; echo 3 | sudo tee /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches.

Command Mean [s] Min [s] Max [s] Relative
gdu -npc ~ 5.390 ± 0.094 5.303 5.644 1.00 ± 0.02
gdu -gnpc ~ 6.275 ± 2.406 5.379 13.097 1.17 ± 0.45
dua ~ 6.727 ± 0.019 6.689 6.748 1.25 ± 0.01
duc index ~ 31.377 ± 0.176 31.085 31.701 5.83 ± 0.06
ncdu -0 -o /dev/null ~ 31.311 ± 0.100 31.170 31.507 5.82 ± 0.05
diskus ~ 5.383 ± 0.044 5.287 5.440 1.00
du -hs ~ 30.333 ± 0.408 29.865 31.086 5.63 ± 0.09
dust -d0 ~ 6.889 ± 0.354 6.738 7.889 1.28 ± 0.07

Warm cache

Command Mean [ms] Min [ms] Max [ms] Relative
gdu -npc ~ 840.3 ± 13.4 817.7 867.8 1.74 ± 0.06
gdu -gnpc ~ 1038.4 ± 9.7 1021.3 1054.1 2.15 ± 0.07
dua ~ 635.0 ± 20.6 602.6 669.9 1.32 ± 0.06
duc index ~ 1879.5 ± 18.5 1853.5 1922.1 3.90 ± 0.13
ncdu -0 -o /dev/null ~ 2618.5 ± 10.0 2607.9 2634.8 5.43 ± 0.18
diskus ~ 482.4 ± 15.6 456.5 516.9 1.00
du -hs ~ 1508.7 ± 8.2 1501.1 1524.3 3.13 ± 0.10
dust -d0 ~ 832.5 ± 27.0 797.3 895.5 1.73 ± 0.08


  • ncdu - NCurses based tool written in pure C
  • godu - Analyzer with carousel like user interface
  • dua - Tool written in Rust with interface similar to gdu (and ncdu)
  • diskus - Very simple but very fast tool written in Rust
  • duc - Collection of tools with many possibilities for inspecting and visualising disk usage
  • dust - Tool written in Rust showing tree like structures of disk usage