Size of directories - what does it mean ?




(My 1st post)

In my linux system, I have a directory called /data .
When I do a ls -lrt is get a small list of files and directories with the various info about them.
The sizes of the (sub)directories (called /logs /local and /dda) are all 4096.
Inside of these directories, they are either empty or stuffed with huge amounts of other files.
Question...What does the original 4096 tell me ? It seems to have no bearing on the size of what is inside.
I did an 'info ls' and 'man ls' but the answer didn't seem to be in there.



Let me try to spell this out simply...

  • A file contains whatever data is put in it
  • A directory contains the names of the files that are listed in it - and their inode numbers
  • An inode contains metadata describing a file (or directory - in linux/unix, *everything* is a file). This includes:

  • the size of the file,
  • the file's physical location (i.e., the addresses of the storage blocks containing the file's data on disk)
  • the file's owner and group
  • the file's access permissions
  • timestamps telling when the inode was created, last modified and last accessed
  • a reference count telling how many hard links point to the inode.

So, an inode has a fixed size of 1024, which is sufficient to contain all the above


Probably not, so I'll guess that what you really wanted was a way to figure out the size of the stuff in the directory?

in which case...
cd <to the directory you are interested in>
du -sh *

if you have a directory with a lot of files, you might want to use these:
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]du -sh * | sort -n                 # to the end of that command, or if you're looking for large files...[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=arial]du -sh * | egrep '[0-9]G'  | sort -n  # which will (almost always) only show files with more than 1Gb in.

Feel free to ask for clarification or further Q's ;)

Thanks for the reply. Your explanation was clear to me.
There are other directories in my system that have other sizes (4096 and 32768) so I just
thought that those were the 'fuller' directories, but instead, they must be more 'complex' directories.

Thanks again,

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