If you have a lot of media files (photo, music etc), then most likely you also have a lot of duplicate files. In this article I’ll show you how to find and remove duplicate files, from the terminal, by using fdupes utility.

fdupes — is a program written by Adrian Lopez to scan directories for duplicate files, with the option to display a list and automatic removal of duplicates. It first compares file sizes, partial MD5 signatures, full MD5 signatures, and then performs a byte-by-byte comparison for verification.

With the fdupes you can remove duplicate files very easily.

But first you need to install fdupes:

sudo apt-get install fdupes

To search a directory for duplicate files, simply run the following command:

fdupes ./
Progress [5539/39061] 14%

The command will search the directory for any duplicate files and show the progress-bar, and then show the results.

Also, you can redirect the results of serching to a text file:

fdupes -r ./ > duplicates.txt

The fdupes can do more with options like:

  • r - search recursively (in subdirectories).
  • d - delete duplicates.
  • N - used together with d, preserve the first file in each set of duplicates and delete the others without prompting the user.


To recursively search the directory and delete duplicates:

fdupes -r -d catalog/

You will need to manually select a file for deleting in each set of duplicates.

Or you can run following command for automatically delete the duplicate files:

fdupes -r -d -N catalog/

The results of running the utility:

[+] ./catalog/file.jpg
[-] ./catalog/file-1.jpg
[-] ./catalog/file-2.jpg

Marked as plus is the kepted file and marked as minus is the deleted files.

Also note that the two following commands do the same things:

fdupes -r -d -N ./


fdupes -rdN ./

If this article has helped you then please leave a comment :smiley:

Thanks for reading!