Biggest file in a tree

There are plenty of solutions to find biggests files in a tree on unix.
I usually used
find . -type f -exec du -sk {} \; |sort -nrk1
until I found it too slow, on a really big partition with a lot of files. It’s slow because the -exec option of find forks for each file , and the du re-fetches the inode for every files (IIRC the inode should be in the buffer cash, the really expensive part is the forking).

Now I usually use this command which is really more efficient (depending essentially on number of files
find . -type f -ls |awk '{print "$7" "$11" }' | sort -nrk1

Conclusion: Fork is expensive 🙂

As my friend nikoteen said in the comment of this post, there is a better solution:
find -ls | sort -k7
The thing is, unix people are (ohh, sorry, I am) used to use some commands with it’s usual argument for example, I often use: ls -lart, tar zcvf, netstat -atnup. And sort -nrk1 is one of that command I often use. That’s why I’m writing stupid commands with awk | sort rather than just writing a simple sort. So guys, use this command:
find -ls | sort -k7


1 Comment »

  1. nikoteen said

    Je propose :

    find -ls | sort -k7


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