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The Question: Easily Find The Exact Total Size of My Actual Source Code…

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Sometimes we might want to know: what is the total size in bytes (or kilobytes or megabytes) of our actual source code in some project? For example, of all the .py files in a directory tree?

Not Some Wrong Answer Based On Storage Medium Space Used For Directory Bookkeeping, Other File Types, And Media Block Sizes…

Many popular Q&A sites for programmers will suggest using the Unix tool du. Unfortunately, popular Q&A sites for programmers are stuffed with wrong answers that calculate incorrect numbers.

An Answer That Fixes The Inaccuracies By Adjusting For du’s Original Design Goals:

du has several flags we can use to help change the calculation to what we really want.

This gets us partway to the answer, letting us total the size of all files in a directory (sub)tree.

Below is a heavily commented script that completes our calculations by totalling the size of all contents, and then subtracting the size of all contents that are not the file type(s) that interest us.

# Copyright 2016-2017 by Chris Niswander.
# Example script calculates the total size (in bytes) of the files 
# having (a) specified type(s)/extension(s),
# in the directory tree specified by command line argument.
# See also:
# The --exclude option can be used multiple times in the same command line
# to exclude multiple file types.
# e.g. $ du --apparent-size -ac -b delme --exclude=*.txt --exclude=*.ps
# These 'excluded' file types 
# will be the only types we actually count the size of, 
# when we run du twice and subtract one result from the other.
du_flags_excluding=" --exclude=*.py "
echo "measuring size of code in directory structure:" "$1"
echo "file type(s)/extension(s) measured are those 'excluded' from 2nd measurement:" $du_flags_excluding
du_flags=" --apparent-size -b -ca "
# Total the bytes for all files and directories in argument directory:
read -a du_result_inclusive < <(du $du_flags $dirpath | tail -n 1)
# Total the bytes for all files and directories in argument directory, 
# *except* the file type(s) specified by $du_flags_excluding:
read -a du_result_excluding < <(du $du_flags $du_flags_excluding $dirpath | tail -n 1)
echo "du result inclusive:" $du_result_inclusive
echo "du result excluding specified file type/extension:" $du_result_excluding
# Subtract to get the total size (in bytes) of the file type(s) of interest.
echo $((du_result_inclusive - du_result_excluding))

System Compatibility

du is included in most Unix (e.g. Linux and OS X) installations as a command line utility.

If you’re on Windows and want to run this script, you can either: