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Re: du reports different results for "."

From: Richard Ems
Subject: Re: du reports different results for "."
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 11:11:05 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071114)

James Youngman wrote:
On Feb 20, 2008 6:58 PM, Richard Ems <address@hidden> wrote:
Hi list!

If I do a "du -s * ." and right afterwards "du -s ." I get different
values for the actual directory ".".

This is on Linux, openSUSE 10.3, coreutils-6.9-43, xfs filesystem.


# du -s * . | grep "\.$" ; du -s .
23227004        .
25251176        .

Is this correct "du" behavior ?

It's hard to say, because you haven't given us enough information to
form an opinion.  Hang on a minute while I log into your system and
take a look.... see what I mean?

I thought that operating system, coreutils version and filesystem could be enough for a start.

Two things that spring to mind are the possibility that the * is
expanding into a bunch of file names, some of which may begin with "-"
and thus modify the behaviour of du.  ("du -s ./*" is much, much,
safer than "du -s *).

Sure, "*" IS expanding into many file names, but none of them begin with "-". And, if you check the "grep" command on my example, what I was comparing was the different values given for ".", not for "*". Apparently I was not clear enough.

Is there activity in the directories beneath "."?   That will change
the answer du gives, of course.  Try comparing the result of
something like "set -x; du -s . .  ; du -s . ; sleep 60; du -s .".

Of course there is no activity beneath "." !

And the difference also appears when doing a "du -sh . .", but this behavior seems now to be cleared, as Paul Eggert and Bob Proulx commented, I have many hard links under this directories, and these causes the difference.


Richard Ems       mail: address@hidden

Cape Horn Engineering S.L.
C/ Dr. J.J. Dómine 1, 5º piso
46011 Valencia
Tel : +34 96 3242923 / Fax 924

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