Feature request: file size in binary units (KiB, MiB, GiB)

It would be nice if nautilus had the option to display file sizes in binary units (KiB, MiB, GiB) instead of decimal units (KB, MB, GB). This doesn’t have to be the default option.

Ok, I’ll bite (byte pun intended; sorry not sorry) – why? Isn’t knowing which is actually used sufficient?

Firstly, it’s not obvious which convention is being used because both binary and decimal units can be denoted in MB but not the other way around (for example, MB often is used to refer to MiB in many programming contexts). This certainly confused me for example. The only unambiguous notation is one where MiB is default.

Secondly, I would argue the binary units are more rational. A bit is the smallest unit of information (2 being the smallest prime), and it is binary in nature. A byte is 8 bits. Is there any particular reason why the unit should be a decimal number of a of a binary number of a binary primitive? The only people who benefit from the decimal standard are hard drive manufacturers who can sell a 931 GiB device and call it 1TB. Very annoying to deal with because when someone uses GB, MB, or kB you never know what they are talking about: for example DRAM manufacturers stick to the old standard of using GB to refer to binary units.

Lastly, the use of the file-size label in nautilus is basically just to check if it meets an exact filesize or fits within a certain range. I make this feature request because I have a certain workload and this will save me from having to go to the terminal and do ls/du every time to see if a file fits under a 1MiB limit. Perhaps a better feature would just to display the exact amount of bytes instead, with every thousands mark separated by a comma.

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