Thomas' Tech Tips

List installed Debian packages sorted by disk space usage

15 September 2023 - Thomas Damgaard

I had to do a little cleaning up recently on a system that was critically low on disk space on the root filesystem.

I had to remove something, so I wanted to find some .deb packages that were safe to remove but also would actually free up some space.

In Debian GNU/Linux, you can get an overview of all installed packages ordered by the amount of disk space they each consume with the following command:

dpkg-query -Wf '${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sort -n

The command dpkg-query -Wf '${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n': lists all installed packages along with their installed sizes in a tab-separated format. ${Installed-Size} represents the size of each package in kb, and ${Package} represents the package name.

Here is a sample output from my current workstation:

$ dpkg-query -Wf '${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sort -n |tail -n 20
263030  linux-image-4.19.0-10-amd64
263216  linux-image-4.19.0-11-amd64
263251  linux-image-4.19.0-12-amd64
263620  linux-image-4.19.0-14-amd64
263632  linux-image-4.19.0-13-amd64
263729  linux-image-4.19.0-16-amd64
263783  linux-image-4.19.0-17-amd64
263853  linux-image-4.19.0-18-amd64
263927  linux-image-4.19.0-25-amd64
263960  linux-image-4.19.0-19-amd64
263964  linux-image-4.19.0-20-amd64
264013  linux-image-4.19.0-21-amd64
264067  linux-image-4.19.0-22-amd64
264115  linux-image-4.19.0-23-amd64
264143  linux-image-4.19.0-24-amd64
270589  fonts-noto-extra
319056  texlive-lang-japanese
339904  zettlr
1101775 texlive-fonts-extra
2044173 0ad-data
Filed under: apt, debian, dpkg, howto, linux, tips

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