I usually estimate the size of a whole directory tree using du -ks $DIRECTOY_TREE_ROOT, but this method cannot be used when zfs compression is on.

The total displayed by ls -l is ok for a single directory, but which is the simplest way to get the same result for a directory tree?


Operating system is Solaris 10.

I am looking for real file size, not the space used on disk.

  • Are you looking for actual space used on disk, or true file size? Mar 31, 2011 at 8:38

6 Answers 6


This should just work:

find . -type f -exec ls -l {} + | nawk '{s=s+$5}
END {print s}'

Just use du -b example:

# du -sh .
215G    .

# du -sbh .
344G    .
  • 1
    Twelve up-votes despite the fact there is no "-b" option with Solaris 10 du...
    – jlliagre
    Dec 14, 2018 at 15:11
  • On Solaris 11, it works via gdu -bsh foldername Apr 2, 2019 at 15:29

It is possible to get both file size and approximate disk usage direcly from command 'find' with the parameter '-ls'

 function lsdu() (
    export SEARCH_PATH=$*
    if [ ! -e "$SEARCH_PATH" ]; then
        echo "ERROR: Invalid file or directory ($SEARCH_PATH)"
        return 1
    find "$SEARCH_PATH" -ls | gawk --lint --posix '
        BEGIN {
            split("B KB MB GB TB PB",type)
            out_fmt="Path: %s \n  Total Size: %.2f %s \n  Disk Usage: %.2f %s \n  Compress Ratio: %.4f \n"
        NF >= 7 {
            ls += $7
            du += $2
        END {
            du *= 1024
            for(i=5; hls<1; i--) hls = ls / (2^(10*i))
            for(j=5; hdu<1; j--) hdu = du / (2^(10*j))
            printf out_fmt, ENVIRON["SEARCH_PATH"], hls, type[i+2], hdu, type[j+2], ls/du

Some sample command and output:

-bash-3.00# lsdu test_sloccount/
Path: test_sloccount/ 
  Total Size: 30.90 MB 
  Disk Usage: 1.43 MB 
  Compress Ratio: 21.6250 

This oneliner should produce the desired result:

find $DIRECTOY_TREE_ROOT -type d -exec ls -l '{}' \; | awk '/^total\ .[0-9]+$/ { sum+=$(NF) }END{ print sum }'

I don't have a ZFS partition to test it on, but on my ext4 partition it outputs the same result as du -ks.

  • The question has been edited to ask for the actual files size, not the one used on disk which both du and ls total are reporting.
    – jlliagre
    Apr 2, 2011 at 12:53

man du would probably help here:

      print apparent sizes, rather than disk usage;  although
      the  apparent size is usually smaller, it may be larger
      due to holes in (`sparse') files,  internal  fragmenta-
      tion, indirect blocks, and the like
  • These is no such option os Solaris 10 du. It is a non standard Gnu extension.
    – jlliagre
    Apr 2, 2011 at 10:07
  • Might be. Solaris Express 11 does have it, though.
    – the-wabbit
    Apr 8, 2011 at 20:15
  • 4
    Solaris 10 doesn't bundle Gnu du. Solaris 11 Express has both /usr/bin/du that doesn't support the --apparent-size option and /usr/gnu/bin/du that supports it.
    – jlliagre
    Apr 8, 2011 at 20:41

I'm going to include the answer to this question for FreeBSD for sake of completeness. According to man du:

 -A      Display the apparent size instead of the disk usage.  This can be
         helpful when operating on compressed volumes or sparse files.

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