Innovative Web Design and Application Development Glossary of Terms

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list contents
ls [options] [names]

List the contents of a directory or directories. This is similar to the dos command īdirī frequently abbreviated in many shells to ll for ls -l which lists files with long format. If no [names] then the contents of the current directory are listed.

-1, --format=single-column
Print one entry per line of output.

List all files, including the normally hidden files whose names begin with a period.

-b, --escape
Display nonprinting characters in octal and alphabetic format.

-c, --time-ctime, --time=status
List files by status change time (not creation/modification time).

--color, --colour, --color=yes, --colour=yes
Colorize the names of files depending on the type of file.

--color=no, --colour=no
Disables colorization. This is the default. Provided to override a previous color option.

--color=tty, --colour=tty
Same as --color, but only if standard output is a terminal. Very useful for shell scripts and command aliases, especially if your favorite pager does not support color control codes.

-d, --directory
Report only on the directory, not its contents.

Print directory contents in exactly the order in which they are stored, without attempting to sort them.

List times in full, rather than use the standard abbreviations.

Print a help message and then exit.

-i, --inode
List the inode for each file.

-k, --kilobytes
If file sizes are being listed, print them in kilobytes. This option overrides the environment variable POSIXLY_CORRECT.

-l, --format=long, --format=verbose
Long format listing (includes permissions, owner, size, modification time, etc.).

-m, --format=commas
Merge the list into a comma-separated series of names.

-n, --numeric-uid-gid
Like -l, but use group-ID and user-ID numbers instead of owner and group names.

Mark directories by appending / to them.

-q, --hide-control-chars
Show nonprinting characters as ? .

-r, --reverse
List files in reverse order (by name or by time).

-s, --size
Print size of the files in blocks.

-t, --sort=time
Sort files according to modification time (newest first).

-u, --time=atime, --time=access, --time=use
Sort files according to the file access time.

Print version information on standard output, then exit.

-x, --format=across, --format=horizontal
List files in rows going across the screen.

-A, --almost-all
List all files, including the normally hidden files whose names begin with a period. Does not include the . and . directories.

-B, --ignore-backups
Do not list files ending in ~, unless given as arguments.

-C, --format=vertical
List files in columns (the default format).

-F, --classify
Flag filenames by appending / to directories, * to executable files, @ to symbolic links, | to FIFOs, and = to sockets.

-G, --no-group
In long format, do not display group name.

-I, --ignore pattern
Do not list files whose names match the shell pattern pattern, unless they are given on the command line.

-L, --dereference
List the file or directory referenced by a symbolic Link rather than the Link itself.

-N, --literal
Do not list filenames.

-Q, --quote-name
Quote filenames with " ; quote nongraphic characters with alphabetic and octal backslash sequences.

-R, --recursive
Recursively list subdirectories as well as the specified (or current) directory.

-S, --sort=size
Sort by file size, largest to smallest.

-T, --tabsize n_cols
Assume that each tabstop is n_cols columns wide. The default is 8.

-U, --sort=none
Do not sort files. Similar to -f but display in long format.

-X, --sort=extension
Sort by file extension.


List all files in the current directory and their sizes; use multiple columns and mark special files:
ls -asCF

List the status of directories /bin and /etc:
ls -ld /bin /etc

List C source files in the current directory, the oldest first:
ls -rt *.c

Count the nonhidden files in the current directory:
ls | wc -l

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