du -s * | sort -nr | head | cut -f2 | parallel -k du -sh

List top ten files/directories sorted by size

If a directory name contains space xargs will do the wrong thing. Parallel https://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/parallel/ deals better with that.
Sample Output
33M     a b
17M     libxnee
3.6M    doc
3.0M    gnee

-2
2010-01-28 12:59:14

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What Others Think

That is, xargs does the "wrong thing" by default, but you can tell it to use any delimiter to separate arguments with the --delimeter option, such as a newline. xargs can also launch jobs in parallel with the -P option. It's good to know about the parallel command though, it's a perl script; I can't find it in Debian/Ubuntu though.
bwoodacre · 433 weeks and 5 days ago
xargs has several race conditions if you use -P: xargs will not guarantee you output with the biggest directory first. It will instead first output the job that finishes first. This is likely to be a problem here. xargs may mix output, so output lines of jobs printing simultaneously can be mixed. This is not likely to be a problem here. The solution using parallel prevents these two problems.
unixmonkey8046 · 433 weeks and 4 days ago
@bwoodacre: I have tried to think a way to fixup the xargs solution for the following dir. Can you fix it up? mkdir '12" records'
unixmonkey8046 · 433 weeks and 4 days ago

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Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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