Yet Another Way To Check Filesystem Space Use

Many tools do the same thing in Linux and this is just another way to check filesystem space use. This one isn’t all that special, it’s just another way. If you want to check your filesystem usage (basically, how much free space you have used on your storage devices) this article can help you with that.

This shouldn’t be a long article. I’ve written others on the topic. It’s safe to assume that you know what a filesystem is. It’s the system your hardware uses to store data if you don’t know. There are many types, from Ext3 to ExFAT. They are all filesystems used to store data.

It should go without saying that you can fill up your storage space and might want to know how much space you have available. Well, if you want to find that information, this is an article for you!

This is another application. There are others.

Monitor Disk Usage With GDU
Show Disk Usage With ‘ncdu’
How To: Check Disk Usage With ‘df’

Those are just a few applications that will let you monitor your filesystem’s usage. I’m sure I’ve covered others.

This pydf is a Python script, but we’ll be using Lubunt and installing pydf just like we’d install any other application, albeit in the terminal. I will point out that pydf has a colored output, which is nice.

I can’t say that this pydf is available in other distros, but it’s available in Lubuntu. As Lubuntu is Ubuntu, that means it’s available in Ubuntu. It is also likely available in Debian. I think you’ll find that pydf is also available in the downstream distros like Linux Mint. I did provide a link above that will take you to the project page.

Check Filesystem Space Usage:

As I’ve done the work in Lubuntu, these directions will be for Lubuntu. You can adapt them easily. In Lubuntu, you can open the terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T on your keyboard. That will open the default terminal.

With your terminal now open, you can install pydf with the following command:

If you want to check the man page (say with man pydf), you’ll find that there isn’t one. If you’d like to view the pydf’s help file, try this command:

Once you’ve done that, you’ll see that using pydf is quite simple. If you just want to run the program to check filesystem space use, then just run it in the terminal like so:

If you want the output in ‘human-readable’ format, you can add a -h flag where bits are divided by 1024, or -H which means bits are divided by 1000. The choice is up to you.

Likewise, if you want to see even the zero-byte filesystems (the special filesystems that you don’t work directly with), you’d run this command:

Additionally, there’s a -l flag that limits the output to just the local filesystems. If I combine them for my preferred output, I get this:

Here’s an example output:

As you can see, there are a bunch of loop devices which are Snaps, which is perfectly normal for many Ubuntu-based systems. You can also see that I’ve used slightly more than half of my drive space and clever observers would notice that the drive is an NVMe SSD.


So, that was a quick and easy article about how you can check filesystem space use, specifically in Lubuntu but easily applied to other distros. There are many ways to accomplish this task in Linux, which means this is just one among many such tools. It shouldn’t take too long to learn how to use pydf if that’s the tool you want to use.

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Check Your (Write) Disk Speed In The Terminal

Today we’re going to discuss one way for you to check your write disk speed in the terminal. That is, we’re going to learn how long it takes you to write data to your disk drives. It’s a very simple set of commands and easy enough for anyone to try. There are other methods, this is just one of them.

After all, I recently did an article that let you check your (read) disk speed in the terminal. I might as well do an article that lets you check your write disk speed in the terminal. The former article was about how fast you can read data from your disk drives. The current article is about how fast you can write data to your disk drives.

There’s not really all that much real world work that this is going to benefit. You’re able to read and write data as fast as you’re able to read and write data. If you want to change that, invest in different hardware. Knowing the read and write rates really doesn’t do you much good – it’s just an interesting bit of information and maybe a reason for you to brag to your friends.

Today we’ll be using the ‘dd’ command. Be sure to be careful with this command because once you set it loose it does exactly what you told it to do. It can and will cause you to reach for your backups… If you don’t know, ‘dd’ defines itself as a tool to convert and copy files. You should read the man page sometime. It’s a rather robust, and potentially complicated, application.


Check Your (Write) Disk Speed In The Terminal:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

The first thing we’re going to do is make a new directory and move to it.

Now, let’s start testing. I’m going to assume you have at least 10 GB worth of space (we’ll be using ~5.5 GB, or 5 GiB). If you do not have enough space, don’t run this command until you do have that much free disk space. The command to run the test is:

Here’s a test result on a slower, in use SSD, about what I expect most users to have:

It will show you the progress, as we’ve enabled that in the dd command. It won’t take all that long for the test to complete. Unless your drive was otherwise heavily occupied, there’s little to gain from running the test multiple times.

Anyhow,  how about we cleanup after ourselves? As the file was made with ‘sudo’ so too shall it be removed with ‘sudo’. It will probably even ask you for confirmation.

And delete the directory:

That should have cleaned up our mess, all nice and fancy like. There’s no real reason to keep a 5.4 GB test file hanging around and you already have the test results.


There you have it! You now have another article and this one will show you how to check your write disk speeds for your drives. If you want to test other drives, just write the file to those drives by navigating there first in the terminal. ‘Snot all that difficult.

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