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find largest file in /var
Finds all directories containing more than 99MB of files, and prints them in human readable format. The directories sizes do not include their subdirectories, so it is very useful for finding any single directory with a lot of large files.
Sometimes you want to know the summary of the sizes of directories without seeing the details in their subdirectories. Especially if it is going to just scroll off the screen. This one liner summarizes the disk usage of any number of directories in a directory without giving all the details of whats happening underneath.
This example summarize size of all pdf files in /tmp directory and its subdirectories (in bytes).
Replace "/tmp" with directory path of your choice and "\*pdf" or even "-iname \*pdf" with your own pattern to match specific type of files. You can replace also parameter for du to count kilo or megabytes, but because of du rounding the sum will not be correct (especially with lot of small files and megabytes counting).
In some cases you could probably use sth like this:
du -cb `find /tmp -type f -iname \*pdf`|tail -n 1
But be aware that this second command CANNOT count files with spaces in their names and it will cheat you, if there are some files matching the pattern that you don't have rights to read. The first oneliner is resistant to such problems (it will not count sizes of files which you cant read but will give you correct sum of rest of them).