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Title: How do I determine the total size of a directory (folder) from the command line?
ID: /2021/03/03/How-do-I-determine-the-total-size-of-a-directory-_folder_-from-the-command-line_
Created: March 3, 2021
Upload: November 24, 2022    Layout:  post
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I’m conditioned to the ll command which is aliased to ls -alF. It is just missing a file count and size of files at the bottom. I played with du and tree but could not get the totals I needed. So I created lll to do that for me.

In your ~/.bashrc place the following:

lll () {
    ls -alF "$@"
    arr=($(ls -alF "$@" | awk '{TOTAL+=$5} END {print NR, TOTAL}'))
    printf " \33[1;31m ${arr[0]}\33[m line(s).  "
    printf "Total size: \33[1;31m ${arr[1]}\33[m\n"
#    printf "Total size: \33[1;31m $(BytesToHuman <<< ${arr[1]})\33[m\n"

Save the file and resource it using . ~/.bashrc (or you can restart your terminal).

Sample output

The nice thing about ll output is it’s colors. This is maintained with lll but lost when using find or du:

lll sample output.png


A bonus function you can add to ~/.bashrc is called BytesToHuman(). This does what most console users would expect converting large numbers to MiB, GiB, etc:

function BytesToHuman() {


    read StdIn

    b=${StdIn:-0}; d=''; s=0; S=(Bytes {K,M,G,T,E,P,Y,Z}iB)
    while ((b > 1024)); do
        d="$(printf ".%02d" $((b % 1024 * 100 / 1024)))"
        b=$((b / 1024))
        let s++
    echo "$b$d ${S[$s]}"

} # BytesToHuman ()

Next flip the comment between two lines in lll () function to look like this:

#    printf "Total size: \33[1;31m ${arr[1]}\33[m\n"
    printf "Total size: \33[1;31m $(BytesToHuman <<< ${arr[1]})\33[m\n"

Now your output looks like this:

lll sample output 2.png

As always don’t forget to re-source with . ~/.bashrc whenever making changes. (Or restart the terminal of course)

PS - Two weeks in self-quarantine finally gave me time to work on this five year old goal.

⇧ Bash/shell make second column red I've deleted all initramfs files (like an idiot) How to restore them?  β‡©