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How To Find and Delete Duplicate Music Files on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 5

In this article, we will explore various methods to find and delete duplicate music files on your Ubuntu system. This guide will introduce you to both command-line tools and GUI programs that you can use to clean up your music library and free up valuable disk space.

Quick Answer

To find and delete duplicate music files on Ubuntu, you can use command-line tools like fdupes or GUI programs like fslint, picard, Jaikoz, komparator, or dupeGuru. These tools can help you identify and remove duplicate music files, freeing up valuable disk space and organizing your music library.

Understanding Duplicate Files

Duplicate files are identical files that exist in multiple locations on your system. They can be a result of various actions such as accidental copying, downloading the same file multiple times, or backup processes. In the case of music files, duplicates often occur when you rip the same CD twice, download the same song, or import music into a media player that doesn’t recognize existing songs.

Tools to Find and Delete Duplicate Music Files

There are several tools available to find and delete duplicate files on Ubuntu. Let’s explore some of them.


fdupes is a command-line program that compares files based on their content. To install fdupes, use the following command:

sudo apt install fdupes

To find duplicate files in a directory, use the -r option to recursively search through the directory. For example:

fdupes -r /path/to/directory

This command will list all duplicate files in the specified directory and its subdirectories.

If you wish to delete the duplicates, you can use the -d option. This will prompt you to select the files you want to keep, deleting the rest:

fdupes -r /path/to/directory -d

If you want to delete all duplicates without any prompts, use the -dN option:

fdupes -r /path/to/directory -dN


fslint is a utility with both a GUI and command-line interface. It uses various duplicate checking algorithms, including comparing file lengths, hardlinked files, and checksums (MD5, SHA1).

To install fslint, use the following command:

sudo apt install fslint

To run the GUI, use fslint-gui. The command-line tool is located at /usr/share/fslint/fslint.

Music-Specific Tools

For music-related duplicate identification, consider using picard from MusicBrainz or Jaikoz. These tools can correctly identify and tag your music files, helping you find duplicate .mp3/.ogg files even if their names are incorrect.

GUI Tools

If you prefer a graphical user interface, you can try komparator or dupeGuru. komparator can be installed using sudo apt-get install komparator, while dupeGuru is a cross-platform GUI program specifically designed for finding duplicates, including a dedicated mode for music.


Finding and deleting duplicate music files on Ubuntu can be a simple task when using the right tools. Whether you prefer using the command line or a GUI, there are plenty of options available to help you clean up your music library. Always remember to exercise caution when deleting files and ensure you have a backup in case of accidental deletions.

What should I do before deleting duplicate music files?

Before deleting duplicate music files, it is recommended to make a backup of your music library. This will ensure that you have a copy of your original files in case of accidental deletion.

Will deleting duplicate music files affect my music library?

Deleting duplicate music files will not affect your music library as long as you are careful and only delete the duplicate files. It is always a good practice to double-check the files you are deleting before confirming the deletion.

Can I recover deleted music files?

If you have permanently deleted your music files, they cannot be easily recovered. However, if you have a backup of your music library, you can restore the deleted files from there. It is important to regularly backup your files to prevent data loss.

Can I use these methods to find and delete duplicate files other than music on Ubuntu?

Yes, the methods mentioned in this article can be used to find and delete duplicate files of any type on Ubuntu. You can modify the search directories accordingly to target different file types or directories.

What should I do if I accidentally delete a non-duplicate music file?

If you accidentally delete a non-duplicate music file, you can try to recover it using data recovery software. Stop using the affected drive immediately to prevent any further overwriting of the deleted file. There are various data recovery tools available for Ubuntu that can help you in this situation.

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