Between Linux and Anime

Kind of like Schrodinger's Cat

K4DirStat – KDirStat has a platform 4 port!

Interestingly enough, in the wake of the recent spark of talk on “missing” KDE 3 apps that never made it to platform 4, I’ve discovered that an app I had always assumed was “missing” (or at least late-to-the-party-and-we’re-still-waiting) is in fact, not. Well, not really.

KDirStat is this really great disk usage analyser that I’ve used all the way since I was on Gnome in my early Linux days. An extremely handy utility for figuring out what is using how much of your disk during hard disk spring cleaning operations, and one that is so good at its job that I haven’t been able to find a replacement. And it’s a KDE 3 app. One of those awesome KDE 3 apps (actually, by now, the only one remaining) that I use and still use even though I have never run KDE 3 (and even though KDE 3 apps look even worse than gtk apps on the Plasma Desktop these days). So imagine my surprise when I discovered that KDirStat, in spite of its “in progress” status in the KDE 3 Application Porting Status page, actually has a KDE platform 4 port called K4DirStat:

And indeed not one that is buried in the danger-fraught lands of developer previews, but one that has apparently been packaged and released by Fedora since Fedora 13, which likely means it does not in fact eat babies and is deemed suitable for general consumption.

The catch, of course, is that it is only currently packaged for Fedora, to the best of my knowledge.

A shame really! It’d be great to get this reviewed and eventually integrated into upstream KDE, since it doesn’t look like the original developers or anyone else is presently working on a port (are they?). This doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen anytime soon though, considering it hasn’t happened in the whole year since the port became available, and considering how the last post on the author’s blog is dated early August last year. I wonder how much of the KDE community is even aware that this port exists. That last at least should hopefully be fixed now :P

Well, some voices and hands will probably be needed to make things happen. Of course, those voices and hands could be mine, but I’m a little tied down at the moment. We’ll see =/

Oh, in the meantime interested users on non-Fedora platforms can just build it on your own. Quoting instructions from the author’s blog:

The source is being tracked with git. You can get an up-to-date copy with the command

git clone

To install, simply run:

cd kdirstat
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install

OpenSUSE users can also add this repo to install it via Yast.

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Ubunchu 07 ~ Installfest!


Hanasaku Iroha 01 ~ stylistics


  1. virgolus

    Good work! I’m compiling this long awaited port of one of my favourite app!

  2. zizzfizzix

    take a look at filelight, it serves the same purpose and is doing it right, despite few glitches

  3. moltonel

    I have been using this port for a while, but it is work-in-progress with a few rough edges compared to the kde3 version, and it seems that the porting effort has stoped.

    I know of filelight too of course, but kdirstat is really supperior. It’d probably be easyer to add the “pie chart” visualisation from filelight to kdirstat than to bring all the missing features from kdirstat to filelight.

    Alas, this is all wishfull thinking until somebody steps up to do the work. I tried for a while to convince myself to become that someone, but I just can’t find enough time.

  4. g

    Before I do the effort of installing k4dirstat, could you tell me what are the features of k4dirstat or kdirstat that are not available in the “File Size View” kpart (a.k.a. fsview) in konqueror (if you have the kpart installed you can access it in konqueror in the menu: View -> View Mode -> File Size View)?

  5. peter

    There is also “fsview”, a similar tool, which existed in kde3 and also in kde4 (konqueror addons)

  6. It is also available in AUR for Arch / Parabola. I’ve been using it for quite a while; it’s a great app and I, like you, thought it was missing at one point and I was greatly surprised when I found the development version (I compiled it at that time, maybe about a year ago).

  7. Hi,
    I’m the porter of k4dirstat (which was supposed to just be a temporary name).
    There are a few places I’ve removed Q3Support that I don’t think I’ve pushed out, a patch to make the background white (at least on my system), and some other changes that I need to release. But yes, between finishing school at this time last year, and starting work, I didn’t have time yet to rewrite the internals so I could get the GUI fixed.


  8. There was also a tool displaying it with circles, but I have forgotten its name, I am sure it is installed.

  9. filelight
    Yast → search for “disk” in description helped :)

  10. Jason "moofang"

    @zizzfizzix: @The User:

    I’ve tried filelight before, it’s pretty great, but I agree with moltonel that KDirStat is much better. In fact I had it installed for awhile and then after awhile relented and replaced it with KDirStat. Being limited to a pie-chart view, even a well-done one, just isn’t too great.


    Personally I think the fsview kPart is cool but a little messy to be truly useful. It’s essentially like an annotated version of the KDirStat treemap view, and it’s really somewhat hard to process that massive image into directories and proportions – even harder than filelight’s pie-chart. KDirStat puts everything into a neat little list-tree nicely sorted by size and percentage, and I find that simple view invaluable.

    You don’t really have to install it if you don’t feel a need for it though, unless you feel adventurous/curious, which is always good :)

  11. Jason "moofang"

    @Josh: Just wondering, do you have a list of issues or todos recorded somewhere that needs to be cleared before you think k4DirStat might be ready for an attempt at inclusion into upstream KDE? Yknow, so that anyone interested (possibly me) might be able to try hop on and pick one up and attempt to help out.

    And thanks for your work on the port :)

  12. Eike Hein

    As Peter says, KDE has bundled the “File Size View” in both KDE 3 and KDE 4, which is available either as a view mode in Konqueror or as a standalone executable, “fsview”. It’s in konqueror-plugins.

  13. Josh

    I don’t remember if I updated the TODO from kdirstat. If I didn’t, I will this weekend.
    – An “Open with dolphin” built-in action for directories
    – Finding out the correct way to make the background the active color. That change is now in the ‘next’ branch in git.
    – Fix the internal model so that it can use a real Qt4 widget for the tree, instead of the broken Q3support one. AFAIK that’s what’s needed to have the percentage bars and animations back. I started on this a long time ago.
    – I’d like to know that the i18n at least works.

    Replacing the KDirStat model with a Qt4 MVC model to fix the display is the real issue.

    Not bad for what was mostly just a weekend of hacking, huh? :)

  14. John

    I can only add here that I use k4dirstat all the time on a number of systems. I have complier and installed on natty, maverick, and lucid with no problem.

    It’s a GREAT little App – I can only add my encouragement to continue the port to KDE4!

    Keep going – it’s well received!!!

  15. barmalini


    I use your port on Sabayon and Fedora. I had to compile it for Sabayon and for Fedora i used the package made by them – both work great.
    Thank you for your time and effort, it´s greatly appreciated.
    May God bless you.

  16. Jason "moofang"

    Hello, Josh is the one that did the port, not me. Glad you like it though :)

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