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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.


Packaging status


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

Using curl:

curl -L | tar xz
chmod +x gdu_linux_amd64
mv gdu_linux_amd64 /usr/bin/gdu

See the installation page for other ways how to install Gdu to your system.

Or you can use Gdu directly via Docker:

docker run --rm --init --interactive --tty --privileged --volume /:/mnt/root /mnt/root


  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/
  -L, --follow-symlinks               Follow symlinks for files, i.e. show the size of the file to which symlink points to (symlinks to directories are not followed)
  -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
      --no-delete                     Do not allow deletions
  -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
  -r, --read-from-storage             Read analysis data from persistent key-value storage
      --sequential                    Use sequential scanning (intended for rotating HDDs)
  -a, --show-apparent-size            Show apparent size
  -d, --show-disks                    Show all mounted disks
  -C, --show-item-count               Show number of items in directory
  -M, --show-mtime                    Show latest mtime of items in directory
  -B, --show-relative-size            Show relative size
      --si                            Show sizes with decimal SI prefixes (kB, MB, GB) instead of binary prefixes (KiB, MiB, GiB)
      --storage-path string           Path to persistent key-value storage directory (default is /tmp/badger) (default "/tmp/badger")
  -s, --summarize                     Show only a total in non-interactive mode
      --use-storage                   Use persistent key-value storage for analysis data (experimental)
  -v, --version                       Print version
      --write-config                  Write current configuration to file (default is $HOME/.gdu.yaml)

Basic list of actions in interactive mode (show help modal for more):
  ↑ or k                              Move cursor up
  ↓ or j                              Move cursor down
  → or Enter or l                     Go to highlighted directory
  ← or h                              Go to parent directory
  d                                   Delete the selected file or directory
  e                                   Empty the selected directory
  n                                   Sort by name
  s                                   Sort by size
  c                                   Show number of items in directory
  ?                                   Show help modal


gdu                                   # analyze current dir
gdu -a                                # show apparent size instead of disk usage
gdu --no-delete                       # prevent write operations
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

GOGC=10 gdu -g --use-storage /        # use persistent key-value storage for saving analysis data
gdu -r /                              # read saved analysis data from persistent key-value storage


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 configure gdu to set CWD variable when browsing directories:
echo "change-cwd: true" >> ~/.gdu.yaml
  • 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"

Deletion in background and in parallel (experimental)

Gdu can delete items in the background, thus not blocking the UI for additional work. To enable:

echo "delete-in-background: true" >> ~/.gdu.yaml

Directory items can be also deleted in parallel, which might increase the speed of deletion. To enable:

echo "delete-in-parallel: true" >> ~/.gdu.yaml

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 /

Saving analysis data to persistent key-value storage (experimental)

Gdu can store the analysis data to persistent key-value storage instead of just memory. Gdu will run much slower (approx 10x) but it should use much less memory (when using small GOGC as well). Gdu can also reopen with the saved data. Currently only BadgerDB is supported as the key-value storage (embedded).

GOGC=10 gdu -g --use-storage /    # saves analysis data to key-value storage
gdu -r /                          # reads just saved data, does not run analysis again

Running tests

make install-dev-dependencies
make test


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.


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

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
diskus ~ 3.126 ± 0.020 3.087 3.155 1.00
gdu -npc ~ 3.132 ± 0.019 3.111 3.173 1.00 ± 0.01
gdu -gnpc ~ 3.136 ± 0.012 3.112 3.155 1.00 ± 0.01
pdu ~ 3.657 ± 0.013 3.641 3.677 1.17 ± 0.01
dust -d0 ~ 3.933 ± 0.144 3.849 4.213 1.26 ± 0.05
dua ~ 3.994 ± 0.073 3.827 4.134 1.28 ± 0.02
gdu -npc --use-storage ~ 12.812 ± 0.078 12.644 12.912 4.10 ± 0.04
du -hs ~ 14.120 ± 0.213 13.969 14.703 4.52 ± 0.07
duc index ~ 14.567 ± 0.080 14.385 14.657 4.66 ± 0.04
ncdu -0 -o /dev/null ~ 14.963 ± 0.254 14.759 15.637 4.79 ± 0.09

Warm cache

Command Mean [ms] Min [ms] Max [ms] Relative
pdu ~ 226.6 ± 3.7 219.6 231.2 1.00
diskus ~ 227.7 ± 5.2 221.6 239.9 1.00 ± 0.03
dust -d0 ~ 400.1 ± 7.1 386.7 409.4 1.77 ± 0.04
dua ~ 444.9 ± 2.4 442.4 448.9 1.96 ± 0.03
gdu -npc ~ 451.3 ± 3.8 445.9 458.5 1.99 ± 0.04
gdu -gnpc ~ 516.1 ± 6.7 503.1 527.5 2.28 ± 0.05
du -hs ~ 905.0 ± 3.9 901.2 913.4 3.99 ± 0.07
duc index ~ 1053.0 ± 5.1 1046.2 1064.1 4.65 ± 0.08
ncdu -0 -o /dev/null ~ 1653.9 ± 5.7 1645.9 1663.0 7.30 ± 0.12
gdu -npc --use-storage ~ 9754.9 ± 688.7 8403.8 10427.4 43.04 ± 3.12


  • ncdu - NCurses based tool written in pure C (LTS) or zig (Stable)
  • godu - Analyzer with a 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
  • pdu - Tool written in Rust showing tree like structures of disk usage


HDD icon created by Nikita Golubev - Flaticon