How to find duplicate files in Linux

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Hello, friends. Working in the terminal is common for all of us who work with Linux servers. However, in between uses, there may be tricks that we have overlooked or simply don’t know about. That’s why, in this post, we’re going to show you how to find duplicate files in Linux.

Introducing to fdupes

To make our goal easier to achieve, we need a tool called fdupes.

According to the tool’s Github profile

FDUPES is a program for identifying duplicate files residing within specified directories.
within specified directories.

It is an open-source application whose code we can analyze and use for our purposes. It is created in C language so it is a very fast and efficient tool.

Although the development of this application is not very active, it is very efficient. In addition to this we can use it on almost any Linux-derived system through binaries or by compiling the source code by ourselves.

So, let’s go for it.

Install fdupes on Linux

To use the fdupes command we have to install the package on our system.

If you are using Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or any of these derivatives, then you can install it as follows

sudo apt update
sudo apt install fdupes

In case you are using an RHEL-derived distribution such as CentOS Stream, RockyLinux, AlmaLinux, or even Fedora, you have to run

sudo dnf install fdupes

But in case you are using Gentoo and derivatives

emerge fdupes

For OpenSUSE

sudo zypper in fdupes

Finally on Arch Linux and derivatives like Manjaro

sudo pacman -S fdupes

As the program is so light, you will have it on your system very quickly.

How to find duplicate files in Linux

To check all the available options provided by fdupes you have to run this command

fdupes --help

This way, you will have access to a brief description of the options and a basic syntax that you have to follow to use the command.

Although there are a lot of options, the reality is that the command is quite simple to use and accomplishes its goal very easily.

So, to find out which are the duplicate files in a specific location, you have to run, something similar to this

fdupes /home/angelo

Of course, /home/angelo is a test directory that you have to replace.

Also, you can search two or more directories simultaneously if you separate them with a blank space.

fdupes /home/angelo/Documents /home/angelo/Pictures

This will list duplicate files that appear in both directories.

It is also possible to recursively search and scan the directories with the -r option.

fdupes -r /home/angelo/

This will list all duplicate files in each of the subfolders of the path.

Many people locate duplicate files to remove them. By adding the -d option we can do this in one go.

fdupes -rd /home/angelo/

However, the developer of the application warns us that

When using -d or –delete, care should be taken to insure against
accidental data loss

But what if we want to know the size of these files? Well, thanks to the -m option it is a very easy task.

fdupes -m /home/angelo/

So, this way we can use fdupes and find out the duplicate files in Linux.

Duplicate files in Linux – Conclusion

The terminal is wonderful and thanks to it, we can even use it for file comparison to find out which files are duplicates thanks to fdupes.

So, enjoy it,

Everything Linux, A.I, IT News, DataOps, Open Source and more delivered right to you.
"The best Linux newsletter on the web"
I am Angelo. A systems engineer passionate about Linux and all open-source software. Although here I'm just another member of the family.


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