qdirstat  1.8.1
About: QDirStat is a highly configurable graphical application to show directory statistics and to clean up dosk space (using Qt 5).
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Qt-based directory statistics: KDirStat without any KDE -- from the author of the original KDirStat.

(c) 2015-2022 Stefan Hundhammer Stefan.Hundhammer@gmx.de

Target Platforms: Linux, BSD, Unix-like systems

License: GPL V2

Updated: 2022-06-30


Main window screenshot - notice the multi-selection in the tree and the treemap


QDirStat is a graphical application to show where your disk space has gone and to help you to clean it up.

This is a Qt-only port of the old Qt3/KDE3-based KDirStat, now based on the latest Qt 5. It does not need any KDE libs or infrastructure. It runs on every X11-based desktop on Linux, BSD and other Unix-like systems and of course in a Docker container.

QDirStat has a number of new features compared to KDirStat. To name a few:

  • Multi-selection in both the tree and the treemap.

  • Unlimited number of user-defined cleanup actions.

  • Properly show errors of cleanup actions (and their output, if desired).

  • Configurable file categories (MIME types), treemap colors, exclude rules, tree columns.

  • Package manager support:

    • Show what software package a system file belongs to.
    • Packages view showing disk usage of installed software packages and their individual files.
    • Unpackaged files view showing what files in system directories do not belong to any installed software package.
  • New views:

    • Disk usage per file type (by filename extension).
    • File size histogram view.
    • File Age View
    • Free, used and reserved disk size for each mounted filesystem (like df)

See section New Features for more details.

Table of Contents

  1. Screenshot
  2. Latest Stable Release
  3. Latest News
  4. History
  5. Related Software: KDirStat, WinDirStat, K4DirStat and more
  6. Motivation / Rant: Why?
  7. Features
  8. MacOS X Compatibility
  9. Windows Compatibility
  10. Ready-made Packages
  11. QDirStat Docker Containers
  12. Building
  13. Contributing
  14. Troubleshooting
  15. Further Reading
  16. Packaging Status
  17. Donate

More Screenshots

Full-size images and descriptions on the Screenshots Page

QDirStat is Free Open Source Software.

If you find it useful, please consider donating. You can donate any amount of your choice via PayPal:


Latest Stable Release

QDirStat V1.8.1

See the release announcement.

Download installable binary packages for various Linux distributions here: Ready-made packages

Latest News

  • 2022-06-30 New stable release: 1.8.1


    • New treemap interaction: Middle click in the treemap now highlights the parent directories of the clicked item, and everything outside that branch is dimmed.

    • Some small improvements

    • Bug fixes


    • A middle click now outlines an item's parent, grandparent etc. directories in the treemap.

      Middle-click it again or click outside the highlighted area to remove the highlight.

      You can use the middle click pretty much like a left click, including Shift- and Ctrl-click to extend the selection.

      See GitHub issue #181 for a screenshot and more details.

    • No longer drawing additional lines in the treemap by default if there is low contrast between individual treemap tiles; that only makes the treemap display uglier for little benefit.

      You can still switch it on with the EnforceContrast setting in the config file (~/.config/QDirStat/QDirStat.conf).

    • Don't show inactive (unmounted) mounts managed by the automounter anymore in the "Places and Mounted Filesystems" bar of the "Open Directory" dialog.

      Notice that those directories are still accessible from the tree at the right side, but they no longer take a prominent place in the left bar.

    • Prevent a hanging Samba (CIFS) or NFS mount from blocking the program, even when no information from that mount is needed at all:

      If you started QDirStat with a path on the command line, it collected the information about used / free / reserved disk space for all mounted filesytems already. If you had a network mount that didn't respond, you still had to wait for a timeout before the program could continue.

      Now it collects that information only when it's really needed:

      • In the "Open Directory" dialog where it displays those sizes in the "Places and Mounted Filesystems" bar on the left

      • In the "Mounted Filesystems" (du-like) window (Menu "View" -> "Show Mounted Filesystems").

    • Now cutting off insanely long generated device names of LUKS devices in the "Mounted Filesystems" window: E.g. /dev/mapper/luks-3fae43... instead of /dev/mapper/luks-3fae4328-4294-4c77-8f98-d437c41da26c. The long name is displayed in a tooltip.

    • Added packed Git archives ("pack-*.pack") to the "Compressed Archives" MIME category, i.e., they appear now in green in the treemap, no longer in the "I don't know what that thing is" grey.

      If you never changed your MIME type configuration, simply delete ~/.config/QDirStat/QDirStat-mime.conf (while QDirStat is not running!) to get this change; it will be regenerated with the new defaults upon the next program start.

    Bug fixes:

    • Fixed GitHub issue #184: When reading a cache file, sparse files were displayed as "allocated: 0 Bytes".

    • Fixed GitHub issue #190: MIME categories for overlapping suffixes

      Files with multiple suffixes like .tar.gz were wrongly sorted into the same MIME category as .gz. It did find the category for the longer one (.tar.gz), but then it continued looking, resulting in the shortest matching one (.gz). Now stopping at the longest hit.

    • Now using xdg-open %d in KDE Plasma for the "Open File Manager Here" standard cleanup action. This may help for GitHub issue #192, yet still maintain the ability to use a powerful file manager like Konqueror (if that is configured), falling back to the standard Dolphin.

    • Improved BSD support (GitHub issue #195): If neither /proc/mounts nor /etc/mtab is available, fall back to using QStorageInfo (if available; Qt 5.4 or later).

      This returns a little less complete information; for example, only rudimentary mount options which are used for some special cases.

    • Bug fix for the "Packages" view for .deb / APT based systems: Now also list packages that are on hold. They were previously missing.

  • 2021-06-21 QDirStat AppImage and why I don't like it


    • It's big and fat (113 MB)
    • It's a very outdated version: QDirStat 1.6.1 from February 2020
    • It doesn't even tell you what version it contains
    • It still needs a fairly recent version of GLibc, so you can't run it on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    • It's unclear if at least the libraries inside (e.g. the Qt libs) are up to date

See DevHistory.md for older entries.


This is just a rough summary. For more details, see DevHistory.md.

  • 2022-06-30 New stable release: 1.8.1

    • New treemap interaction: Middle click in the treemap now highlights the parent directories of the clicked item, and everything outside that branch is dimmed.

    • Some small improvements

    • Bug fixes

  • 2021-08-28 New stable release: 1.8

    • New view: File Age Statistics

    • Navigation history like in a web browser (Back, Forward)

    • Bug fixes

    • Some small improvements

  • 2021-04-05 New stable release: 1.7.1

    • Added a "Discover" toplevel menu with actions to easily find

      • the largest files
      • the newest files
      • the oldest files
      • files with multiple hard links
      • broken symbolic links
      • sparse files
    • Now showing the target of symbolic links in the details panel. If the target does not exist, a Broken Link warning is also shown.

    • Menu reorganization. The new toplevel menus are now:

      File, Edit, View, Go To, Discover, Clean up, Help

  • 2020-07-26 New stable release: 1.7

    • Closing the gap between sizes reported by QDirstat and sizes reported by the du command: Now also taking the allocated size into account.

    • Now also displaying the allocated size where it makes sense.

    • New "Mounted Filesystems" window showing output similar to the df command (but without the cruft).

    • New directory selection dialog showing all (real) filesystems.

  • 2020-02-13 New stable release: 1.6.1

    • Much better handling for "permission denied" errors while reading directories

    • Now showing the exact byte size (134 495 994 Bytes instead of 128.3 MB) upon mouse click

    • New optional tree column "Oldest File" (not enabled by default)

  • 2019-07-22 New stable release: V1.6

    • New packages view

    • New unpackaged files view

    • Performance improvements while reading directories

    • Vast Performance improvement for huge directories (100.000+ entries in a single directory)

  • 2018-11-07 New stable release: V1.5

    • New details panel

    • Package manager support to show what software package a file belongs to

    • New breadcrumbs navigation

    • Switchable tree layouts L1 / L2 / L3

  • 2017-06-04 New stable release: V1.4

    • New file size statistics with histogram

    • Shading for empty space in the treemap for lots of very small files

  • 2017-03-05 New stable release: V1.3

    • New file type view

    • Locate files of a certain type (filename extension) in the tree

  • 2017-01-03 New stable release: V1.2

    • Improved Btrfs subvolumes support
  • 2016-10-31 New stable release: V1.1-Pumpkin

    • Bug fixes

    • Split up the config file into several ones

  • 2016-05-16 First stable release: V1.0

  • 2016-04-08 Beta 3 release

  • 2016-03-20 Beta 2 release

  • 2016-02-06 Beta 1 release

  • 2015-11-28 QDirStat project start: Ported from the old KDE 3 KDirStat

  • Predecessor: KDE 3 KDirStat

    • 2006-06-01 KDirStat 2.5.3: The last KDE3 based version.

    • 2003: Bernhard Seifert wrote WinDirStat based on the KDirStat idea of coupling a tree view and a treemap and providing cleanup actions.

    • 2003-01-05 KDirStat 2.3.3: Treemaps

    • 2002-02-25 KDirStat 2.0.0: Complete rewrite for KDE 2 / Qt 2

    • 2000-01-21 KDirStat 0.86 for KDE 1 announced: First public version.

KDirStat and QDirStat

KDirStat was the first program of this kind (combining a traditional tree view with a treemap), also written by the same author as QDirStat. It was made for KDE 1 back in early 2000; later ported to KDE 2, then KDE 3.

QDirStat is based on that code, but made independent of any KDE libraries or infrastructure, so it has much fewer library and package dependencies; basically only the Qt 5 libs and libz, both of which most Linux / BSD machines have installed anyway if there is any graphical desktop installed.

WinDirStat and QDirStat

There are lots of articles and user forum comments about QDirStat being a "nice Linux port of WinDirStat". Well, nothing could be further from the truth: WinDirStat is a Windows port of KDirStat, the predecessor of QDirStat.

So it's the other way round: The Linux version was there first, and somebody liked it so much that he wrote a Windows version based on that idea. That's a rare thing; usually people port Windows originals to Linux.

See also https://windirstat.net/background.html and the WinDirStat "About" dialog.

QDirStat and K4DirStat

K4DirStat is a port to KDE 4 / Qt 4 of the old KDE 3 / Qt 3 KDirStat. QDirStat is independent of that; it is based on the old KDE 3 KDirStat directly.


  • Baobab
  • Filelight
  • ncdu
  • du

See Disk Usage Tools Compared: QDirStat vs. K4DirStat vs. Baobab vs. Filelight vs. ncdu (including benchmarks) in the Wiki.

Motivation / Rant: Why?

After having used KDE since its early days (since about 1998), I didn't like the direction anymore that KDE has been taking. I loved KDE 1, KDE 2, KDE 3. When KDE 4 came along, it took me a long time to try to adopt it, and when I did, I moved back to KDE 3 after a short while, then tried again with the next release, moved back again -- several times.

I really tried to like it, but whenever I thought I tamed it to meet my requirements, a new version came along that introduced yet another annoyance.

To name a few:

  • A lot of things that used to be user configurable in KDE 3 are not configurable anymore, and when you approach the KDE 4/5 developers about that, they will tell you that this is intentional, and they do not intend to bring those config options back. Well, thanks a lot; this is the Apple approach where they think they know what is good for you, and you are just too stupid.

  • Konqueror as the old central tool is as good as dead. It's still there as an alternate file manager (for those who find it), but the primary one is the dumbed-down Dolphin that I consider unusable: It's only useful for complete newbies, not for power users. The web browser part of Konqueror is so outdated that you can't do much with it with most modern web sites, so the great integration of web and local file manager that was the major strong point of Konqueror (and thus KDE) no longer exists.

  • I don't like the fact that I can't simply put icons on my desktop anymore -- no, I have to create a plasmoid first as a container, and those things keep doing weird stuff that drives every user crazy. With one false move of your mouse, it might be gone, change shape, move to another place or whatever.

  • I also don't like the desktop search that eats resources like there is no tomorrow (disk space, disk I/O, CPU usage) and that for all practical purposes you can't get rid of.

  • I don't like the fact that the mail client relies on that MySQL based framework called Akonadi that is not only resource-hungry, but also so fragile that I had to use the akonadiconsole lots of times just to bring it back to life. Seriously, if I as a Linux system developer have a hard time doing that, what is a normal user expected to do?

  • Activities vs. multiple desktops. I tried to use both, but they don't integrate well. The desktops previewer is far inferior to the old one from KDE3: Only monochrome rectangles, no real preview. The activities plasmoid keeps rearranging my carefully placed and named activities at random. WTF?!

  • Everything is so fragmented that not even the naming is clear anymore. What used to be KDE is now a jumble of the KF Framework, the KF libs, the KF apps and the Plasma desktop. Yeah, great job, folks; people used to know what KDE stood for. Nobody knows what the hell all those components are, and neither does anybody care anymore. You paved your way to oblivion with buzzwords. Great marketing strategy for gaining more visibility!

Then the next generation KDE arrived, Plasma 5. When I was force-migrated to it at work with the SUSE Tumbleweed rolling release, the experience was so bad that I moved to the Xfce Desktop.

Now every time I started my own KDirStat, it started about a dozen KDE processes along with it -- processes that it needs only for minor things like loading icons or translations. I really don't need or want that.

So it was time to make KDirStat self-sufficient; it never used that much of all the KDE infrastructure anyway. Time to make a pure Qt-based and self-sufficient QDirStat.

And while I was at it, I took the chance to add some features that I had wanted for a long time, yet I had never gotten myself to start working on:

  • Multi-selection in the directory tree so you can delete several files at once.

  • Remove limitations like having only a fixed number of user-defined cleanup actions.

  • Properly show the output of cleanup actions, in particular when they reported errors.

  • Make treemap colors configurable: Use custom colors and match them to user-defined filename extensions.

  • Move away from the arcane KDE build system: Back with KDE 1/2/3 it was the Autotools with custom KDE extensions that only a handful people in the world really understood (I was not among them), later CMake which is little better, just differently confusing.

Yes, there is a Qt4 / Qt5 port of KDirStat called K4DirStat. K4DirStat is an independent project that started when I had not worked on the old KDirStat for a long time (my last KDirStat release had been in mid-2006).

QDirStat is based on that same code from the 2006 KDirStat. It's an 80% rewrite using a lot of newer Qt technologies. And there was a lot of cleaning up that old code base that had been long overdue.


New Features

  • Multi-selection:

    • Both views (the tree and the treemap) now support extended selection, i.e. you can select more than one item. This was the most requested feature for the last KDirStat. Now you can select more than one item at the same time to move it to the trash can, to directly delete it or whatever.

    • Tree view:

      • Shift-click: Select a range of items.
      • Ctrl-Click: Select an additional item or deselect a selected one.
    • Treemap:

      • Ctrl-Click: Select an additional item or deselect a selected one.

      • The current item is highlighted with a red rectangle, all other selected ones with a yellow rectangle. If the current item is not also selected, it has a dotted red outline.

      • Middle click: This does the same as a left click, plus it also highlights the parent directories of the current item. Everything outside those ancestors is slightly dimmed. If the same item is middle-clicked again, that highlighting is removed.

        This also works with Ctrl-middle click and Shift-middle click.

  • Proper output of cleanup actions with different colors for the commands that are executed, for their output and for error messages (see screenshot above). That output window can be configured to always open, to open after a certain (configurable) timeout, or only if there are error messages -- or not at all, of course. If things go wrong, you can kill the external command started by the cleanup action from there. You can zoom in and out (increase or decrease the font size) as you like.

  • File type statistics window. WinDirStat has it, and users wanted it in QDirStat, too. Since filename extensions (suffixes) don't have as much semantics in Linux/Unix systems as they do in Windows, many files are categorized as "Other". This is a known limitation, but it's a limitation of the whole concept of using suffixes to categorize files by type. And no, checking file headers for magic byte sequences like the "file" command does is not an option here; QDirStat would have to do that for (at least) all the 30,000+ files typically listed under the "Other" category. So we'll have to live with that limitation.

  • Locate files by file type window. If you double-click on any of the filename extensions (suffixes) in the file type statistics window, you will get another window that lists all the directories that contain files of that type including the number and total size of those files. You can double-click each of those lines, and that directory will open in the main window with the files of that type preselected so you can start cleanup actions like moving them to trash or converting them to a better format (.bmp -> .png) immediately.

  • File size statistics window with histogram, percentiles, buckets and a lot of documentation that everybody should be able to understand. Even if (or, better yet, in particular if) your math teacher or statistics professor never explained it properly, please have a look at it.

  • File age statistics window: This lists the number and total size of changed files by years and for recent (13-24) months. You can see in what time frame there was any activity (i.e. any changes) in a directory tree, i.e. when it last was in active use; or if it might be a good candidate to be moved to archive media.

  • Packages view: Show installed packages and their files in the tree. Supported for all Linux distributions using any of dpkg, rpm, pacman as their low-level package manager or any higher-level package manager like apt, zypper etc.; more details at Pkg-View.md.

  • Unpackaged files view: Show a directory tree, but ignore all files that belong to an installed software package. Those ignored files are displayed in a special branch in the tree view, and they are not displayed at all in the treemap. This is useful to find files that were manually installed by a sudo make install command. More details at Unpkg-View.md.

  • New macros to use in cleanup actions:

    • %d : Directory name with full path. For directories, this is the same as %p. For files, this is their parent directory's %p.

    • %terminal : Terminal window application of the current desktop; one of "konsole", "gnome-terminal", "xfce4-terminal", "lxterminal", "eterm". The fallback is "xterm".

    • %filemanager : File manager application of the current desktop; one of "konqueror", "nautilus", "thunar", "pcmanfm". The fallback is "xdg-open".

  • Which desktop is used is determined by the $XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP environment variable. Users can override this with the $QDIRSTAT_DESKTOP environment variable, so you can get, say, the Xfce terminal or file manager despite currently running KDE if you set

    export QDIRSTAT_DESKTOP="Xfce"
  • Of course, you can still simply use your favourite file manager if you simply change %filemanager in the default "Open File Manager Here" cleanup action to the command to start it.

  • You can now select the shell to use for the cleanup commands:

    • $SHELL (the user's login shell) - using the same environment, syntax and wildcard etc. behaviour of the shell the user is used to.
    • /bin/bash for well-defined behaviour for wildcards etc.
    • /bin/sh as a last resort (which might be a simplistic dash on Ubuntu).
  • Mouse actions in the treemap window:

    • Left click: Select item and make it the current item.
    • Right click: Open the context menu with cleanup actions and more.
    • Ctrl+Left click: Add item to selection or toggle selection.
    • Middle click: Like left click, but also show directory borders.
    • Ctrl+Middle click: Like Ctrl+left click, but also show directory borders.
    • Double click left: Zoom treemap in.
    • Double click middle: Zoom treemap out.
    • Mouse wheel: Zoom treemap in or out.
  • You can configure what columns to display in the tree view and in which order. The only thing that is fixed is the "Name" column which is always there and always the first (leftmost). Use the context menu in the tree header to unlock column widths. Drag columns to the left or right to change their order.

  • Exclude rules are now greatly simplified. They no longer always get the entire path to match which requires quite complex regexps; by default, they only get the last path component -- i.e., no longer "/work/home/sh/src/qdirstat/src/.git", but only ".git". You can now even tell the exclude rule to use a simplified syntax: "FixedString" or "Wildcard" in addition to the normal "RegExp". The old behaviour (matching against the full path) is still available, though.

  • Configuration dialog for exclude rules -- see screenshots.

  • Subvolume detection for Btrfs. Btrfs subvolumes are just ordinary mount points, so normally QDirStat would stop scanning there, leaving a large part of a Btrfs partition unaccounted for. But for each mount point found while scanning a directory tree, QDirStat checks /proc/mounts or /etc/mtab if it has the same device name as its parent directory, and if yes, considers it a subvolume and continues scanning.

  • Actions to go one directory level higher or to the toplevel: Context menu and menu "Go To" -> "Up One Level" or "Toplevel". This is useful if you clicked on a file in the treemap that is deep down in some subdirectory, and you want to know what subdirectory that is: Simply click "Go Up" twice (the first click will get you to the pseudo subdirectory, the second one to the real one).

  • Open all tree branches up to a certain level and close all other ones: Menu "View" -> "Expand Tree To Level" -> "Level 0" ... "Level 9".

  • The total sum of the selected items (subtrees) is displayed in the status line if more than one item is selected.

  • Icons are now compiled into the source thanks to Qt's resource system; now it's just one binary file, and nothing will go missing. No more dozens of little files to handle.

  • The build system is now Qt's QMake. I got rid of that AutoTools (Automake, Autoconf, Libtool) stuff that most developers find intimidating with its crude M4 macro processor syntax. QMake .pro files are so much simpler, and they do the job just as well. And no, it will definitely never be CMake: I don't like that thing at all. It's just as much as a PITA as the AutoTools, just not as portable, no usable documentation, it's changing all the time, and those out-of-source builds are a royal PITA all on their own with constantly having to change back and forth between source and build directories.

  • QDirStat now has its own log file. It now logs to /tmp/qdirstat-$USER/qdirstat.log (where $USER is your Linux user name). No more messages on stdout that either clobber the shell you started the program from or that simply go missing.

  • No longer depending on dozens of KDE libs and a lot of KDE infrastructure; it now only requires Qt which is typically installed anyway on a Linux / BSD / Unix machine with any X11 (graphical) desktop.

  • It should still compile and work with Qt4. We now have a contributor who is very interested in that (Michael Matz), so it should be possible to maintain this compatibility.

  • Slow down display update from 333 millisec (default) to 3 sec (default) with qdirstat --slow-update or qdirstat -s. The slow update interval can be customized in ~/.config/QDirStat/QDirStat.conf:

    SlowUpdateMillisec = 3000

Old Features

Features ported from the old KDirStat:

  • Fast and efficient directory reading.

  • Not crossing filesystem boundaries by default so you can see what eats up all the disk space on your root filesystem without getting distorted numbers due to all the other filesystems that are mounted there. If you absolutely wish, you can use "Continue reading at mount point" from the context menu or from the "File" menu -- or configure QDirStat to always read across file systems.

  • Efficient memory usage. A modern Linux root filesystem has well over 800,000 objects (files, directories, symlinks, ...) and about 100,000 directories. This calls for minimalistic C++ objects to represent each one of them. QDirStat / KDirStat do their best to minimize that memory footprint.

  • Hierarchical tree view that displays accumulated sums in each branch, together with a percent bar so you can see at a glimpse how the subdirectories compare with each other.

  • All numbers displayed human readable -- e.g., 34.4 MB instead of 36116381 Bytes.

  • All size units are 1024-based, i.e. 1 kB = 1024 Bytes; 1 MB = 1024 kB; 1 GB = 1024 MB.

  • In the tree, also displaying the exact byte size as the context menu (right click).

  • Each tree level uses another color for that percent bar so you can easily compare subdirectories even if some of them are opened in the tree.

  • If a directory has files and subdirectories, all files in that subdirectory are grouped into a pseudo directory (called dot entry in the QDirStat sources) so you can compare the disk usage of files on that directory level with the subdirectories.

  • Displaying the latest modification time of any object in each branch. You can instantly see in what subdirectory where any changes lately. You can sort by this column, of course.

  • Treemap display. Treemaps are a way to visualize hierarchical data structures, invented by Ben Shneiderman. Basically, the hierarchy is flattened and each level grouped in a rectangle, inside which it is again subdivided in rectangles. The area of each rectangle corresponds to the size of each item or subdirectory. For the purposes of QDirStat, it is enough to know that a large blob corresponds to a large file; you can instantly see where large ISOs or movies are.

  • You can zoom the treemap in and out (Ctrl + / Ctrl - / mouse wheel / menu / tool bar) to see more details of directories that are otherwise dominated by larger ones.

  • You can move the boundary between treemap and tree view up and down as you like. You can also get rid of the treemap completely (menu "Treemap" -> "Show Treemap" or F9 key)

  • Treemap and tree list view communicate. Select an item in one view, and it is also selected in the other. If you click on that large blob in the treemap, it is located in the tree view, all branches up to its directory are opened, and the tree view scrolls to that item.

  • Cleanup actions. Once you know what is consuming the disk space, you can start cleanup actions from within QDirStat to reclaim disk space - or to investigate further if you can safely delete a file. You can create your own cleanup actions (as many as you like), and there are some predefined ones:

    • Open file manager here. This will start a file manager in the directory of the current item. QDirStat tries its best to guess the name of the relevant file manager application for the current desktop, based on the $XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP environment variable. You can override this with the $QDIRSTAT_DESKTOP environment variable.

    • Open terminal window here. In most cases, this is much easier than to navigate to that directory with 'cd' in an already open terminal window and using tab-completion numerous times. As with the file manager application, QDirStat tries its best to guess the name of the relevant terminal window application for the current desktop.

    • Move to trash bin. QDirStat has its own implementation of the XDG trash specification.

    • Delete immediately.

    • Compress: Create a compressed tar archive from a directory and then delete the directory.

    • Delete junk files: Backup files left behind by editors, core dumps.

    • All predefined cleanup actions are fully configurable, of course. You can change any of them, disable them, or delete them.

  • You can copy the complete path of the selected file or directory to the system clipboard and paste it to another application.

  • Reading and writing cache files:

    • This is mostly meant for remote servers in some server room somewhere: Rather than installing the Qt and X11 runtime environment and running QDirStat over remote X (ssh with X forwarding), you can run the supplied qdirstat-cache-writer Perl script on the server, copy the resulting cache file to your desktop machine and view the content there with QDirStat.

    • For large directories (archives etc.) that don't change that much, you can also generate a QDirStat cache file (either with the Perl script or with QDirStat itself) and save it to that corresponding directory. If QDirStat finds a file .qdirstat.cache.gz in a directory, it checks if the toplevel directory in that cache file is the same as the current directory, and if it is, it uses the cache file for that directory rather than reading all subdirectories from disk. If you or the users of that machine use QDirStat often, this might take a lot of I/O load from the server.

    • If you use the '-l' option of the qdirstat-cache-writer script, it uses the long file format with a complete path for each entry, so you can use the zgrep command with it as a replacement for the locate command.

    • The KDirStat / QDirStat file format is well documented and very simple. It seems to be used by a number of admins and some backup software. See also the specification in the doc/ directory: https://github.com/shundhammer/qdirstat/blob/master/doc/cache-file-format.txt

    • You can specify a cache file to read directly at the command line:

      qdirstat --cache cache-file
  • Other command line options: See

    qdirstat --help

Features that are Gone

(Compared to the old KDirStat)

  • Pacman animation
  • KIO slave support
  • Feedback form
  • KPacman: That was that PacMan animation wile reading directory reading. This is gone now. KPacMan looked out of place pretty soon after it got to KDirStat due to Qt styles doing fancy rendering of widget backgrounds with gradients etc. I know that it does have its fans, but it's unrealistic to get this back without breaking the menu bar rendering.

  • KioDirReadJob: Network-transparent directory reading for network protocols like FTP, HTTP, Fish (ssh-based). This depended on KDE's KIO slaves, so this functionality is gone now without KDE. That's a pity, but this is a little price to be paid to avoid the rest of the hassle with using the KDE libs.

  • KFeedback: That was that form where users could tell their opinion about KDirstat. But that was not used that often anyway - not nearly enough to justify the effort that has gone into that part. And the KDE usability people, like usability people generally tend to do, first discussed that to death and then decided they didn't want anything like that in general in KDE applications. So be it.

  • KActivityTracker: That was a supporting class for KFeedback that kept track of how much a user was using the program and after a while (when it was determined that it made sense) asked if the user wouldn't like to give his feedback about the program. Don't you all just hate those dumbass web designers who tell you to do a survey how much you like their grand web page before you even had a chance to look at it? Shove a pop-up up your face covering the stuff you are interesting in with their self-loving marketing bullshit? -- KActivityTracker was made to avoid exactly this: Ask the user only once you know that he actually used the program for a while.

MacOS X Compatibility

There is some experimental support for MacOS X, but it's really only that: Experimental.

I was amazed to find that it doesn't take more than the normal "qmake" and then "make" to build QDirStat for MacOS X. We (Sonja Krause-Harder and I) did some basic testing, and it seems to work.

The cleanups may need some adaptation, but this is something that might even be configured by the user.

If anybody wants to give it a try, download Qt for MacOS X, install it, open a shell window, search the qmake command:

find . -name qmake

Add this to your $PATH, then do the normal


Not sure how well "make install" works, though.

Be advised that QDirStat on MacOS X is purely experimental at this stage.

There is no support. If you try this, you are on your own. Even more so than with the other platforms, you will have to make sure that your Qt build environment is set up correctly.

There be dragons. ;-)

Architecture maintainer wanted for QDirStat for MacOS X

If you are a developer with some prior C++ and Qt knowledge on the MacOS X platform and you'd like to see QDirStat working there, please consider joining the team.

Windows Compatibility

There is no native Windows version, but you can use the docker container. Other than that, there is WinDirStat.

There are currently no plans for doing a native Windows port.

Directory reading might be quite easy to replace for Windows; we don't have that problem with devices and crossing filesystems on that platform.

But the cleanups might be a challenge, "move to trash" works completely differently, and we'd need an installer for a Windows version.

So, for the time being, use the docker or WinDirStat instead.

WinDirStat is a close relative to the KDirStat family anyway; the author had liked KDirStat on Linux so much that he decided to write a Windows clone and called it WinDirStat.

Ready-made Packages

Packaging status

openSUSE / SUSE Linux Enterprise

QDirStat packages for openSUSE Tumbleweed / Leap (15.x, 42.x) and SLE (15, 12) (Notice that Leap 15.3 is wrongly sorted into the SLE category, not openSUSE as it should):

  • Download page for the latest stable release

  • Download page for the current development version (git master)

    Since this version is in development, it may be not quite as stable and reliable as the latest official stable release, although the QDirStat developers try their best to keep it as stable as possible.







QDirStat Docker Containers

There are currently two publicly available docker containers for QDirStat:

(see their respective release pages for more detailed information about the QDirStat version they provide)

Those containers make QDirStat usable even on non-Linux / non-Unix systems such as Windows or MacOS X.

Docker is basically a virtualized environment to run software that was designed for a different operating system.

It is very much like using VmWare or VirtualBox, but with much less overhead: You don't have to install that other system first and then on top of that the application that you really want to run. A docker container contains everything that is needed, and it is preconfigured for that application.

How to use Docker on Windows

  • Download and install Docker Desktop for Windows
  • Use the Docker Desktop for Windows to launch the QDirStat Docker (as a Linux container)
  • Adapt the command line so the disk that you want to explore is used

More information:


Notice that for most mainstream Linux or BSD distributions you don't have to build your own; you can simply install a ready-made package from your normal package manager.

Build Environment

Make sure you have a working Qt 5 build environment installed. This includes:

  • C++ compiler (gcc recommended)
  • Qt 5 runtime environment
  • Qt 5 header files
  • libz (compression lib) runtime and header file

If anything doesn't work, first of all make sure you can build any of the simple examples supplied with Qt, e.g. the calculator example.


Install the required packages for building:

sudo apt-get install build-essential qtbase5-dev zlib1g-dev

Dependent packages will be added automatically.

Recommended packages for developers:

sudo apt-get install qttools5-dev-tools qtbase5-doc qtbase5-doc-html qtbase5-examples

See also


If you also have a Qt4 development environment installed, select the desired one via qtchooser:

sudo apt-get install qtchooser
export QT_SELECT="qt5"


Install the required packages for building:

sudo zypper install -t pattern devel_C_C++
sudo zypper install libQt5Widgets-devel libqt5-qttools zlib-devel

If you also have a Qt4 development environment installed, make sure that the Qt5 version of 'qmake' is the first in your $PATH:

export PATH=/usr/lib64/qt5/bin:$PATH


Open a shell window, go to the QDirStat source directory, then enter these commands:



sudo make install


su -c make install

Install to a Custom Directory

The default setup installs everything to /usr. To install to another directory, set INSTALL_PREFIX during qmake.

qmake INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local

Beware that some things might not work as expected; for example, you will not get a .desktop file in the proper place to make QDirStat appear in any menus in your graphical desktop environment or in the file manager. You will need to copy the .desktop file manually to whatever directory your graphical desktop environment uses somewhere in your home directory. Similar with the application icon used in that .desktop file.


See file Contributing.md and GitHub-Workflow.md


Can't Move a Directory to Trash

See file Troubleshooting.md

Further Reading

Of course, don't forget to check out the doc directory.

Packaging Status

Repology: QDirStat versions in Linux / BSD distributions:


(click for details)

QDirStat is Free Open Source Software.

If you find it useful, please consider donating. You can donate any amount of your choice via PayPal: