Solaris Tip of the Week: a better du experience

Graphic showing several nested command line terminal application windows.In my day job as a Systems Engineer I frequently find myself switching between different UNIX and Linux distributions.  While many of the commands exist on both sides of the aisle, I often find vast differences in the command line parameters that can be consumed by a given command when used in, for example, Linux vs Solaris.

Recently I came upon this again with the need to easily ferret out the majority consumer of drive space on a Solaris 10 system.  While we did have the xpg4 specification support available, the du command was still missing my favorite option “max-depth”.

In Linux I use this to limit the output to only the current directory level so that I don’t have to face to possibility of wading through a tremendously large listing of sub-directories to find the largest directory in the level I am in.  Unfortunately, in Solaris, even with xpg4, the du command doesn’t have this option, so my solution was to pipe the results through egrep and use that to filter out the sub-directories.

Here is some example output from a RedHat Linux 5.11 server:

[root@atl4cmweb01 var]# du -h
8.0K    ./games
8.0K    ./run/saslauthd
8.0K    ./run/lvm
8.0K    ./run/setrans
8.0K    ./run/ppp
8.0K    ./run/snmpd
4.0K    ./run/mysqld
8.0K    ./run/pm
8.0K    ./run/dbus
8.0K    ./run/nscd
8.0K    ./run/console
8.0K    ./run/sudo
8.0K    ./run/netreport
176K    ./run
8.0K    ./yp/binding
24K     ./yp
8.0K    ./lib/games
8.0K    ./lib/mysql
4.0K    ./lib/nfs/statd/sm.bak
8.0K    ./lib/nfs/statd/sm
24K     ./lib/nfs/statd
8.0K    ./lib/nfs/v4recovery
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/statd
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/portmap
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/nfs/clntf
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/nfs/clnt5
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/nfs/clnt0
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/nfs
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/mount
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs/lockd
0       ./lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs
40K     ./lib/nfs
8.0K    ./lib/dhclient
8.0K    ./lib/iscsi/isns

Here is the same example ouput from the RedHat server using the max-depth option:

[root@atl4cmweb01 var]# du -h --max-depth=1
8.0K    ./games
176K    ./run
24K     ./yp
22M     ./lib
32K     ./empty
1.5G    ./log
12K     ./account
236K    ./opt
24K     ./db
8.0K    ./nis
2.9M    ./tmp
8.0K    ./tmp-webmanagement
40K     ./lock
8.0K    ./preserve
8.0K    ./racoon
16K     ./lost+found
1.4M    ./spool
8.0K    ./net-snmp
83M     ./cache
8.0K    ./local
1.6G    .

Here is the command example run without my egrep mod in Solaris 10:

[root@atl4sfsbatchb log]# /usr/xpg4/bin/du -h
  25K ./webconsole/console
  26K ./webconsole
   1K ./pool
   1K ./swupas
   2K ./ilomconfig
   1K ./current/ras1_sfsuperbatchb
   1K ./current/od1_atl4sfsuperbatchb
 4.3G ./current/ras1_atl4sfsbatchb
 2.1G ./current/od1_atl4sfsbatchb
 560K ./current/avs
   2K ./current/ebaps/output
 9.3M ./current/ebaps
 4.0M ./current/psh
 3.1M ./current/autoresponder
   5K ./current/fdms_download
  29K ./current/fdms_server
 109K ./current/fmt
   5K ./current/paris/output
 653K ./current/paris
   1K ./current/od1_sfsuperbatchb
  28K ./current/ccTemplateLoader
 633K ./current/ccTemplateLoaderLegacy
  15M ./current/whinvoices
   1K ./current/
 132M ./current/chase
 6.6G ./current
 160K ./archive/ccTemplateLoader
   1K ./archive/od1_atl4sfsuperbatchb
 4.9M ./archive/avs
   1K ./archive/ebaps/output
  26M ./archive/ebaps
 881M ./archive/psh
1014M ./archive/autoresponder
   1K ./archive/fdms_download
 6.8M ./archive/fdms_server
  21M ./archive/paris
   1K ./archive/ccTemplateLoaderLegacy
 4.1G ./archive/ras1_atl4sfsbatchb
 3.1G ./archive/od1_atl4sfsbatchb
 5.9G ./archive/chase
 102M ./archive/whinvoices
  15G ./archive
  22G .

And here is the improved command output using my egrep mod on the same Solaris server:

[root@atl4sfsbatchb log]# /usr/xpg4/bin/du -hx | egrep -v '.*/.*/.*'
  26K ./webconsole
   1K ./pool
   1K ./swupas
   2K ./ilomconfig
 6.6G ./current
  15G ./archive
  22G .