Tag Archives: Smartphones

See where is the space used in your Android phone from Ubuntu Terminal

So, you may have your Android phone full and you don’t know where the space is.

You may have tried Apps for Android but none shows the information in the detail you would like. Linux to the rescue.

First of all you need a cable able to transfer Data. It is a cable that will be connected to your computer, normally with an USB 3.0 cable and to your smartphone, normally with USB-C.

Sometimes phone’s connectors are dirty and don’t allow a stable connection. Your connections should allow a stable connection, otherwise the connection will be interrupted in the middle.

Once you connect the Android smartphone to the computer, unlock the phone and authorize the data connection.

You’ll see that your computer recognizes the phone:

Open the terminal and enter this directory:

cd /run/user/1000/gvfs/

Here you will see your device and the name is very evident.

The usual is to have just one device listed, but if you had several Android devices attached you may want to query first, in order to identify it.

The Android devices use a protocol named Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) when connecting to the USB port, and that’s different on the typical way to access the USB port.

usb-devices  | grep "Manufacturer=" -B 3

Run this command to see all the devices connected to the USB.

You may see Manufacturer=SAMSUNG or Manufacturer=OnePlus etc…

The information returned will allow you to identify your device in /run/user/1000/gvfs/

You may get different type of outputs, but if you get:

T:  Bus=02 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#= 13 Spd=480 MxCh= 0

your device can be accessed inside:

cd mtp\:host\=%5Busb%3A002%2C013%5D/

There you’ll see Card and Phone.

You can enter the Phone internal storage or the SD Card storage directory:

cd Phone

To see how the space is distributed nicely I recommend you to use the program ncdu if you don’t have you can install it with:

sudo apt install ncdu

Then run ncdu:


It will calculate the space…

… and let you know, sorted from more to less, and will allow you to browse the sub-directories with the keyboard arrow keys and enter to get major clarity.

For example, in my case I saw 8.5 GB in the folder Movies on the phone, where I didn’t download any movie, so I checked.

I entered inside by pressing Enter:

So Instagram App was keeping a copy all the videos I uploaded, in total 8.5 GB of my Phone’s space and never releasing them!.

Example for the SD card, where the usage was as expected: