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4 Useful Tools to Find and Delete Duplicate Files in Linux

04/11/2021 Comments off

Organizing your home directory or even system can be particularly hard if you have the habit of downloading all kinds of stuff from the internet.

Often you may find you have downloaded the same mp3, pdf, epub (and all kind of other file extensions) and copied it to different directories. This may cause your directories to become cluttered with all kinds of useless duplicated stuff.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to find and delete duplicate files in Linux using rdfind and fdupes command-line tools, as well as using GUI tools called DupeGuru and FSlint.

A note of caution – always be careful what you delete on your system as this may lead to unwanted data loss. If you are using a new tool, first try it in a test directory where deleting files will not be a problem.

1. Rdfind – Finds Duplicate Files in Linux

Rdfind comes from redundant data find. It is a free tool used to find duplicate files across or within multiple directories. It uses checksum and finds duplicates based on file contains not only names.

Rdfind uses an algorithm to classify the files and detects which of the duplicates is the original file and considers the rest as duplicates. The rules of ranking are:

  • If A was found while scanning an input argument earlier than BA is higher ranked.
  • If A was found at a depth lower than BA is higher ranked.
  • If A was found earlier than BA is higher ranked.

The last rule is used particularly when two files are found in the same directory.

To install rdfind in Linux, use the following command as per your Linux distribution.

$ sudo apt-get install rdfind     [On Debian/Ubuntu]
$ sudo yum install epel-release && $ sudo yum install rdfind    [On CentOS/RHEL]
$ sudo dnf install rdfind         [On Fedora 22+]
$ sudo pacman -S rdfind   [On Arch Linux]

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