Kdirstat to track space hogs

I’m putting this under the Windows tech support category because I’ve used this on a boot cd before to do the same for Windows as I’m about to describe for Linux. I need to clean up and organize my hard drive(s). But when it comes to actually deleting things you really do want to get the biggest bang for the buck and go after the biggest files first. I remember an old Windows 95 utility I think it was called space Hog or something like that (more space 95??) Anyway, it would scan the disc and show the files sorted by size. Under linux (KDE desktop), there’s a similar (in many ways better) utility called kdirstat.

When you open up kdirstat it gives you the opportunity to choose which folder you want to analyze. If you have several GB of data in your home directory expect either to 1) narrow the focus a bit to a sub-directory tree or 2) wait a while for the analysis. While it works, you will see how many read operations are left in each folder tree which gives an idea of it’s progress. After it’s done you’re presented with a nice split screen view. At the bottom is a visual representation of the data on your drive. Colored blocks. If you click on one, you will be taken in the top half of the view to the file that represents. The top half is sorted by largest size down to smallest. Clicking on a directory or file highlights the corresponding area in the graphic below.

Of course, you probably don’t want to just go deleting will-nilly (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever actually used that phrase… willy-nilly….) Especially if your using a boot disk to clean up a windows partition and not your linux home directory. You can get a system thoroughly messed up by deleting things you shouldn’t. That much said, if you’re running under linux and you’ve just analyzed your home directory you should be fine as long as you don’t take out files that are important to you. (You hate to have to say that, but….)

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