I had a very similar problem and therefore decided to compile different methods to solve this problem. In the following there are these options and I got some of them from the answers already given here. I understand that this is a little different from the question, but it is consistent with the answers. It has many parts and they are all software that I could somehow try myself.
It is generally a good idea to pay close attention to the use of sudo Options below so the software can have access every filethat will likely contain some large hid.
Here is a short list of apps to check disk usage:
GrandPerspective is only graphic. With the Treemap, files can be measured using logical or physical methods, package contents can be shown / hidden and the color scheme can be changed during operation. It is also able to save the scanned data for archiving or comparing multiple windows.
Disk Inventory X also uses the graphical treemap scheme, but alongside a list view of folders and files. The graphics aren't as good as GrandPerspective and the list isn't as good as OmniDiskSweeper, but it does a good job of mixing the two. It has a Finder plugin and most of the options between the 3 settings. It is the most complex, but not all complete.
OmniDiskSweeper is not graphical and very similar to Finder's column view. If you select the folder to be analyzed or the hard disk to be analyzed, these are sorted according to hard disk usage after you have taken the time to calculate. You can then simply delete all the items listed (move them to the trash).
Everyone has their advantages and disadvantages. I am still not sure if there is one who is ahead. You are all free.
There is also another approach for apps that may not be able to scan certain expected locations and files for space usage in a non-optimal way. You are basically collecting some known things about the system that can inflate your hard drive in a nice interface so you can see and decide what to delete.
CleanMyMac lists caches, protocols, language files, universal binary files, development junk, extensions and applications. It searches the files and also uses a knowledge base. Great surface, easy to use. CleanMyMac has one free trial that only cleans up to 500 MB.
XSlimmer is very specific. It Remove "unnecessary" code from "fat" binary files and Remove unnecessary languagesas it says on the website. Universal binaries use a lot of space to store files to run in different architectures and languages. This will remove them all just to meet the needs of your computer. XSlimmer is currently being discontinued.
Another approach is to look for duplicate files. There are many commercial options, some may be better than those listed below, I haven't tried them all. Anyway, I list my selection of apps and consider which ones I could try.
TidyUp is a very well-known app in this area. You can specify where to look for which duplicates. It offers basic and advanced modes, different strategies and criteria.
MrClean is a free tool that only searches for folders and puts them in the trash. Very simple, but efficient if you are sure of what you are doing.
Chipmunk scans duplicates and lets you choose which ones you want to throw in the trash. It offers a node view of folders and you can choose to "Delete all files in a folder that contain duplicates elsewhere, or vice versa"as well as picking by hand. It can take a long time to scan all the files, but after that it does a very decent job.
DupeCheck "When you drop a file on it, your Spotlight index is used to determine if you have a potential duplicate anywhere"It's about this nice open source app. Not a great tool for instant room cleaning, but over time it will help you keep your room clean.
DuplicateFileSearcher from the website: "is a free, powerful software utility that helps you find and delete duplicate files on your computer. It can also be used to calculate MD5 and SHA hashes. The software runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris and MacOS.". Enough said.
Next, I'll briefly take a similar approach by quoting relevant parts about two other things that can be done to look for space without installing anything new, just from the command line (the terminal).
This (long but good) comes from the MacFixIt forums (you can find more options and details there):
In most cases, there are actually files that occupy part of the volume, but the files are invisible when the Finder is used normally.
Use the Finder's Go To Folder feature (on the Go menu) to check the size of the contents of these folders by including the following path names:
The / private / var / vm directory contains the swap files used by virtual memory. New ones are created when more data is transferred from RAM to the hard disk. The entire creation process begins with every restart or restart. Do not try to remove them yourself. Check the total size of all swap files immediately after booting and when filling the hard drive. In Panther, the first two swap files are 64 MB, and each new file is twice the size of the previous one (128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB) up to a maximum size of 1 GB. In Tiger, the first two swap files are 64 MB, the next 128 MB, and all additional swap files are 256 MB.
If you do not run the daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance scripts (either by using a utility or by running the sudo periodic daily, sudo periodic weekly, and sudo periodic month commands in Terminal), the logs on the startup disk may be too large. If an error occurs frequently and is logged, you can have a very large file at /private/var/log/system.log.
The files in / Volumes should be aliases for your mounted volumes. Do not remove these aliases because everything you do to them happens with the contents of the corresponding volumes. If you are unsure whether you can accidentally browse this folder before you begin, properly mount any volumes other than the startup volume if the lack of space issue affects only that volume. External FireWire drives can be detached after proper disassembly.
Sometimes backup programs that cannot find an intended target (or target) volume for a backup create a folder with the same name as the target and place the folder in the / Volumes directory. There are cases where the entire startup volume has been saved to itself in a folder in / Volumes. If the lack of space is roughly the size of your home folder, such a backup is probably the explanation. If you use Carbon Copy Cloner or another backup or cloning program and its settings are configured so that a backup is created on a schedule and the intended target disk is not mounted or is in hibernation at the scheduled time, the backup will be in the directory / Volumes created.
Open a new Finder window to check the size of the normally invisible directory / volume on the active startup volume. Select the startup disk from the list on the left, then choose the column view (the right of the three views). From the Finder's Go menu, choose Go To Folder and paste the following:
The directory / volumes is displayed in the Finder. Find the size by selecting it and entering command I. The My / Volumes directory is 12 KB.
This other comes from the Mac OS X Hints forums (not much more to see):
You might want to do a you in the terminal to see what's going on. This can take a few minutes.
An example would be to open terminal.app and then run the following commands:
sudo du -h -d 1 -c /
Enter your password when prompted, and then release it. The execution takes a few minutes. So be careful.
you stand for Disk Usage. There is also df. I like it
-x to the command above:
sudo du -cxhd 1 /
If you add the command line option, you can use an Automator service to open any app. This gives you different (and more complete) results on the GUI.
Or, If you are on a Power PC, use Rosetta or something else before Snow Leopardyou can mix any of the aforementioned apps with pseudo. It is a small app to open things as an administrator. Think of it like a GUI for sudo.
Finally, there is a complete guide for newcomers to "The X Lab", which I will simply not quote here because it is too long.