Unix / Linux: See Colourised Filesystem Disk Space Usage

last updated in Categories Linux

The pydf command displays the amount of used and available space on your file systems, just like df command, but in colors. The output format is completely customizable.

This is a little known tool (python script) that displays the amount of disk space available on the mounted filesystems, using different colours for different types of filesystems.


Install pydf

Use the apt-get command to install pydf under Debian / Ubuntu Linux:
$ sudo apt-get install pydf
Sample outputs:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 13 not upgraded.
Need to get 13.3 kB of archives.
After this operation, 45.1 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://debian.osuosl.org/debian/ squeeze/main pydf all 9 [13.3 kB]
Fetched 13.3 kB in 0s (13.5 kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package pydf.
(Reading database ... 224818 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking pydf (from .../apt/archives/pydf_9_all.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up pydf (9) ...

RHEL / CentOS / Fedora Linux users, use the yum command to install pydf (first enable EPEL repo as described here):
# yum -y install pydf
Sample outputs

Loaded plugins: product-id, protectbase, rhnplugin, subscription-manager
Updating certificate-based repositories.
0 packages excluded due to repository protections
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package pydf.noarch 0:9-3.el6 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

 Package        Arch             Version            Repository      Size
 pydf           noarch           9-3.el6            epel            14 k

Transaction Summary
Install       1 Package(s)

Total download size: 14 k
Installed size: 25 k
Downloading Packages:
pydf-9-3.el6.noarch.rpm                           |  14 kB     00:00
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing : pydf-9-3.el6.noarch                                   1/1
Installed products updated.

  pydf.noarch 0:9-3.el6


FreeBSD user can use the port as follows:
# cd /usr/ports/sysutils/pydf/ && make install clean
Or, add the package using the pkg_add command:
# pkg_add -r pydf

How do I use pydf?

Simply type the command as follows:
$ pydf
Sample outputs:

pydf command
Fig.01: pydf command in action

To see filesystems having 0 blocks, enter:
$ pydf -a
Sample outputs:
pydf command
Fig.02: See all file systems with 0 blocks

To see human readable output i.e. show sizes in human readable format (e.g., 133K 2341M 2448G), enter:
$ pydf -h
The following option is same as -h, but use powers of 1000 not 1024:
$ pydf -H
To see information about inodes instead of blocks, enter:
$ pydf -i
Disable colourised output i.e. do not use colours:
$ pydf --bw
See quick demon of pydf command:

(Video 01: pydf command in action)

How do I customize pydf command colors?

Edit a file called /etc/pydfrc which is act as system wide main configuration file:
# vi /etc/pydfrc
You can use per-user configuration file ~/.pydfrc:
$ cp /etc/pydfrc ~/.pydfrc
$ vi ~/.pydfrc


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.

12 comment

  1. Hi, the prints are diffrent like below;

    [root@linux tmp]# df -h
    Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
                           28G  3.3G   23G  13% /
    /dev/sda1              99M   13M   82M  14% /boot
    tmpfs                 502M     0  502M   0% /dev/shm
    [root@linux tmp]#
    [root@linux tmp]#
    [root@linux tmp]# pydf -h
    Filesystem                      Size  Used Avail Use%                                       Mounted on
    /dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00  27G 3302M   22G 11.9 [####...............................] /
    /dev/sda1                        99M   12M   81M 12.6 [####...............................] /boot
    [root@linux tmp]#
    [root@linux tmp]#
    [root@linux tmp]# pydf -H
    Filesystem                      Size  Used Avail Use%                                       Mounted on
    /dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00  29G 3462M   24G 11.9 [####...............................] /
    /dev/sda1                       104M   13M   85M 12.6 [####...............................] /boot
    [root@linux tmp]#
  2. Nic little tool, thanks.
    Is there also something like “pydu” or “kdirstat” for comand line?

  3. I dislike the so-called “human-readable” format (it’s really “lossy abbreviation”), and pydf has nothing else. The best way of presenting large numbers is with thousands separators. That way the numbers themselves provide a graphic representation of their relative sizes while still being human readable. I wrote this wrapper for df:

  4. Tried installing pydf on FreeBSD 9 and found I had to alter the shebang line of the python script to get it to work properly. The script (/usr/local/bin/pydf) installs with


    and this needs to be changed to:


    Works well once adjusted.

  5. Very recently, I wrote a tool in C that displays space usage using graphs and colors. It has also other capabilities such as html and TeX export of the data. Have a look at the wiki page for some screenshots and information.
    Works on Linux, *BSD and OSX and is already in FreeBSD and OpenBSD ports and packaged in some Linux distro as well (Mageia, Debian, Gentoo,…).
    You might want to give it a go. 😉

  6. On CentOS 7, after running sudo yum install epel-release, I still couldn’t install pydf by running sudo yum install pydf. However I was able to install through pip by running:
    yum install -y python-pip
    sudo pip install pydf

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