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The Single Unix Specification SUS specifies by default space is reported in blocks of 512 bytes, and that at a minimum, the file system names and the amount of free space.

The use of 512-byte units is historical practice and maintains compatibility with ls and other utilities. This does not mandate that the file system itself be based on 512-byte blocks. The -k option was added as a compromise measure. It was agreed by the standard developers that 512 bytes was the best default unit because of its complete historical consistency on System V (versus the mixed 512/1024-byte usage on BSD systems), and that a -k option to switch to 1024-byte units was a good compromise. Users who prefer the more logical 1024-byte quantity can easily alias df to df -k without breaking many historical scripts relying on the 512-byte units.

The output with -P shall consist of one line of information for each specified file system. These lines shall be formatted as follows:

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