Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Large Hidden Files

I'm working on another backup script. I admit it had been over a year since I had backed up my home hard drive. In that time, the stuff my old script had been backing up from my home directory got a lot bigger. Why? I found a couple obvious culprits that I should have seen right away, but then it was less obvious. Running du | sort -rn is always insightful when this problem comes up, and I found that I had a .local directory that was 2.3 GB in size and a .cache that was almost 1 GB. Ouch. Looks related to tracker. The other biggie that I had totally missed was that I had played around with VirtualBox, and it stores its hard drive images in the hidden .VirtualBox directory. What is with these programs stashing huge amounts of data in hidden directories? In the case of VirtalBox, it could be very important data. Is that smart to hide it from the users like that? I don't like it.

2 comments:

Saint Aardvark said...

Dispus is a handy little Perl script I take with me wherever I go; it's very good at browsing around the filesystem and showing you what's eating all the space.

Bryan said...

Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to give it a try. The author of dispus also points out some more useful du options.