Linux / UNIX find out size of email account or mailbox

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Q. I would like to show the list of email accounts which used the most disk on my Linux mail server. How do I find out size of email account?

A. Usually mail is stored in /var/mail directory. By running the following command you can get list of email account disk size.

ls -lL will display user filesize.

Use awk command to print user mailbox size along with username

Finally sort command will sort mailbox size.

Type the command:
$ ls -lL /var/mail | awk '{print $5, $9}' | sort -rn
$ ls -lL /var/mail | awk '{print $5, $9}' | head -10


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

2 comment

  1. Dear Vivek,

    I am recent.. but a regular visitor to your site. It is very informative and thank you for that.

    The command you have mentioned here do not actually gives output of the Directory Size. It shows below ouput.

    root@ameya:~# ls -lL /var/mail | awk ‘{print $5, $9}’ | head -3


    I think for the exact results below command will be more useful.

    root@ameya:~# du -h /var/mail | awk ‘{print $1, $2}’ |more

    Please lemme know about your views and suggesstions.


  2. Take this route for a “Top 10 largest mail INboxes” :

    #cd /var/spool/mail
    #ls -lS | head -10

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