I'm using an rsync script to make incremental backups of a specific folder, in very much the same way Time Machine does. I'm very interested to know how large my backup destination folder is. However when I Get Info in the Finder, it tells me the size as if each hardlink is it's own unique file.

Is there a way I can calculate the actual disk space used by a folder, where hard-linked files aren't being counted again and again for each link?


1 Answer 1


The answer, partially assisted by the comment above, is to use du

Specifically, du -hs /path/to/folder/i/want/to/get/size/of

This counts hardlinked files only once. This is the parent folder of my hard-linked backups. So Finder tells me ~322 MB but du tells me ~171 MB. I don't think the 1000 vs 1024 issue is taken into account, but it's certainly close enough for my needs!

  • I'm actually getting the same result as I would with the Finder with this command on macOS Big Sur
    – Oion Akif
    Feb 8, 2021 at 0:56

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