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qdirstat - Man Page

Qt-based directory statistics


QDirStat is a graphical application to show where your disk space has gone and to help you to clean it up.


qdirstat [OPTION]... [<directory-name>]

qdirstat --cache|-c <cache-file-name>

qdirstat pkg:/<pkg-spec>

qdirstat unpkg:/<dir>



Show a summary of command line options on stdout. That information might be more up-to-date than this man page.


Slow down display updates during directory reading. This is useful when running QDirStat over a remote X11 connection.

The exact update interval is specified in the SlowUpdateMillisec parameter in the [DirectoryTree] section of the configuration file. The default is 3000 milliseconds (3 seconds).


Don't prompt for a directory to read upon program start even if no directory was specified on the command line.

-c|--cache <cache-file-name>

Read the content of a directory tree from a cache file that was generated by QDirStat's "Write to Cache File" option or by the qdirstat-cache-writer script.

A file .qdirstat.cache.gz in the directory that it describes is automatically picked up and used: A cache file /data/archive/foo/.qdirstat.cache.gz with the content of /data/archive/foo is used automatically when found while reading a directory tree containing it.

Normal Operation

You start the program without any parameters; then it will open a directory selection box to let you choose an existing directory. Alternatively, you can specify the path of an existing directory as a command line parameter.

The program will then start reading that directory tree, i.e. it will recursively traverse that directory tree and read information for each directory and its subdirectories.

The result is displayed in a tree view where you can open and close branches. The tree view displays information such as the accumulated size of each subtree, the number of items, the number of files, the latest modification time ("mtime") in that subtree, and some more. You can sort the tree by each of those columns.

You can select one or more items in the tree view to get more detailed information or to start "cleanup actions": Move to trash, remove immediately (caution!), create a gzipped tarball from a directory, "make clean", open a file manager window with that directory or start a shell there - and more. Use the context menu (right mouse button) or the "Clean Up" menu in the menu bar (you can "tear off" that menu so it remains open).

There are three predefined column layouts L1, L2, L3 where you can switch what columns are displayed and whether or not to display the details panel at the right.

Right-click on a column header to show or hide individual columns or to switch between automatic column width and a user-defined width (drag the column divider in the header). You can rearrange the order of columns with drag and drop (but the "Name" column will always remain fixed at the very left side).

The Treemap

As a secondary view, there is a "treemap" with colored rectangles ("tiles"). The area of each of those tiles corresponds to its size; the larger a tile, the larger the item. So you can spot a large file buried deep down in the directory hierarchy easily.

The color of each tile corresponds to its type ("MIME category"). There are a number of predefined categories such as images (photos etc.), videos, music etc.; they can be configured in the configuration dialog (menu "Edit" -> "Configure QDirStat").

PKG Urls / Packages View

Specifying a pkg:/ URL at the command line starts the packages view that groups files by the software package they belong to.

The package specification in the pkg:/ URL is case insensitive.

Some heuristics are used to determine what mode to use: The default is "starts with", but if the search pattern contains typical regexp special characters, it interprets the pattern as a regular expression.

If it detects just "*" (not ".*") or "?", it uses wildcard mode.

If the first character is "=", it uses exact matching.

qdirstat pkg:/chrom

This shows all packages starting with "chrom" or "Chrom" or "CHROM".

qdirstat pkg:/=emacs

This shows only package "emacs", not "emacs25" or any other one starting with "emacs".

qdirstat "pkg:/*gtk*"

This shows all packages that have "gtk" somewhere in their name.

Notice that you have to protect the "*" wildcards from the shell by escaping them with quotes.

qdirstat "pkg:/.*qt[45].*"

This shows all Qt4 or Qt5 packages.

qdirstat "pkg:/(firefox|mozilla|chrome|chromium|opera)"

This shows all the well-known browsers on the system. Notice that regular expressions use a partial match, so use the "^" and "$" anchors when appropriate.

Unpkg Urls / Unpackaged Files View

Specifying an unpkg:/ URL at the command line starts the "unpackaged files" view: This reads the specified directory and ignores files that are owned by an installed software package.

Some well-known directories that are known to contain only unpackaged files are excluded by default, and some file types are ignored by default:

/homeuser home directories
/roothome directory of the root user
/tmpdirectory for temporary files
/varvariable data for all kinds of software
/usr/lib/sysimage/rpmRPM database
/usr/locallocally installed software
*.pyccompiled Python files

This list can be modified when starting the unpackaged files view from the menu. Starting the view from the command line uses the same settings that were used last time when using the menu.

qdirstat unpkg:/

This shows the unpackaged files of the complete root filesystem.

qdirstat unpkg:/usr/share

This shows the unpackaged files of /usr/share.


~/.config/QDirStat/QDirStat-cleanup.confcleanup actions configuration
~/.config/QDirStat/QDirStat-exclude.confexclude rules configuration
~/.config/QDirStat/QDirStat-mime.confMIME categories configuration
~/.config/QDirStat/QDirStat.confgeneral configuration
~/.config/QDirStat/bookmarks.txtbookmarks (plain text, one per line)
/tmp/qdirstat-$USER/qdirstat.logcurrent / last log file
/tmp/qdirstat-$USER/qdirstat-*.oldprevious log files
**/.qdirstat.cache.gzauto-used cache file

It is safe to delete any or all of the configuration files; the next program start will restore them with default settings.

The configuration files can safely be edited while QDirStat is not running. Many parameters can be accessed via GUI, but some (the more arcane ones) can only be changed by editing a configuration file manually.

Project Home Page


See Also


and don't forget the "Help" menu!


See the issue tracker at the project repository:



QDirStat was written by Stefan Hundhammer <Stefan.Hundhammer@gmx.de> based on the original KDE 3 KDirStat (also by Stefan Hundhammer). While a number of people contributed small patches and fixes, the project is largely a one-man-show.

This manual page was written by Stefan Hundhammer <Stefan.Hundhammer@gmx.de> based on the initial one written for QDirStat by Patrick Matthäi <pmatthaei@debian.org>.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 2.


January 2024