What Is the Df Command in Linux?


In the world of Linux, understanding how to manage your system’s disk space is essential. One indispensable command for this task is the “df” command. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the df command in Linux. We’ll cover everything from its basic usage to advanced troubleshooting and optimization techniques. By the end of this article, you’ll have a thorough understanding of how to leverage this command to maintain your Linux system effectively.

What is the df command in Linux?

The df command in Linux stands for “disk free” or “disk filesystem.” It’s a command-line utility that provides valuable information about disk space usage on your Linux system. By typing “df” followed by various options and arguments, you can retrieve detailed insights into your system’s storage status. Let’s explore the df command’s capabilities in more detail.

Basic Usage

To begin, let’s look at the basic usage of the df command. Open your terminal and type:


This simple command will display information about all mounted file systems on your system, including their device name, total size, used space, available space, and usage percentage.

Understanding Output Columns

When you execute the df command, the output is presented in columns. Here’s what each column represents:

  • Filesystem: The device or partition name.
  • 1K-blocks: Total size of the file system in 1-kilobyte blocks.
  • Used: The amount of space used.
  • Available: The space that is still available for use.
  • Use%: The percentage of space that is currently in use.
  • Mounted on: The directory where the file system is mounted.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive deeper into the df command’s capabilities and explore some advanced usage scenarios.

Advanced Usage

  1. Display in Human-Readable Format: You can use the -h option to display the sizes in a human-readable format, making it easier to understand at a glance.
df -h
  1. Filter Filesystem Types: Sometimes, you may want to filter and display specific types of file systems. For example, to show only ext4 file systems:
df -t ext4
  1. Exclude Filesystem Types: Conversely, you can exclude specific types of file systems from the output using the --exclude-type option. To exclude tmpfs file systems:
df --exclude-type=tmpfs
  1. Display Inodes Information: The df command can also provide information about inodes (data structures that store file and directory information). Use the -i option to view inode-related data:
df -i

Troubleshooting and Optimization

Disk Space Cleanup

Running low on disk space? The df command can help identify which directories or file systems are consuming the most space, allowing you to target them for cleanup.

Automate Disk Usage Monitoring

You can schedule periodic df command executions and set up alerts to notify you when a file system reaches a certain threshold, helping you proactively manage your system’s storage.

Disk Space Expansion

Learn how to expand your disk space by adding new drives or resizing existing partitions. The df command assists in verifying the success of these operations.


What do I do if my root file system is 100% full?

First, identify and remove unnecessary files. Additionally, consider resizing your root partition or moving data to a different disk.

Can I use the df command to check network-mounted file systems?

Yes, the df command can display information about network-mounted file systems, but it requires the -T option to show the file system type.

Is there a graphical interface alternative to the df command?

Yes, some Linux distributions offer graphical disk usage analyzers, such as “Baobab” or “Disk Usage Analyzer.”

How often should I check disk space using df?

Regular checks are recommended, especially on critical servers. Setting up automated checks and alerts is a best practice.

Can I use the df command to check disk space on remote servers?

Yes, you can use the -h option to specify a remote server’s hostname or IP address and check its disk space.

What is the difference between df and du commands in Linux?

The df command shows information about file systems and their usage, while the du command (disk usage) provides details about specific directories and their sizes.

What is the df command in Linux?

The “df” command in Linux is used to display disk space usage information for file systems.

What is the df -H command in Linux?

The “df -H” command in Linux is similar to the “df” command but displays disk space usage information in a human-readable format, using powers of 1000 (SI units) instead of 1024 (binary units).


The df command in Linux is an invaluable tool for managing your system’s disk space effectively. By mastering its usage and understanding its capabilities, you can keep your Linux system running smoothly and efficiently. Regularly monitoring disk space, troubleshooting issues, and optimizing storage are essential tasks for any Linux administrator or enthusiast.

So, the next time you find yourself wondering about the state of your system’s storage, remember the trusty df command—it’s your key to keeping your Linux system in tip-top shape.

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