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What options are there to change the view of a directory in emacs dired mode? How to apply it? How can I change it on the fly?

In particular I want to know:

  • How to make it show the file sizes in human readable format (MB, GB, ...)?
  • How to omit the permissions, owner and group in the list view?
  • How to change appearance of symbolic links? (I want it to be displayed like regular files i.e. without the target, but in another color to indicate that they are links).
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For human readable file sizes, check stackoverflow.com/a/2859033/605276 and also check the Dired+ package – Juancho Aug 6 '12 at 12:45
Yes, read man ls and then experiment with the options to make ls work the way you want Dired to list files. Then, put (for example) this in .emacs: (setq dired-listing-switches "-lBhX") Human readable is ls -h, so that is the h. (I suppose -l is highly recommended. The rest is just what I use.) – Emanuel Berg Aug 6 '12 at 14:58
@EmanuelBerg Thanks, then the ls option -gohL would be closest to have what I wanted... Do you know how to hide also the permissions and how I can apply this on the fly without editing my .emacs file? – student Aug 6 '12 at 16:19
About permissions, I don't know. About on the fly, M-x set-variable RET dired-listing-switches RET "-gohL", then M-x dired (or C-x d) to see the result. Also, you could put several lines like this (setq dired-listing-switches "-lBhX") (with different options) in *scratch*, then, with the cursor just to the right of the right parenthesis, hit C-x C-e. This will probably give you even faster testing. – Emanuel Berg Aug 6 '12 at 20:15
@EmanuelBerg Can you convert your comment into an answer, then I can accept it (even though it doesn't solve the permission question)? – student Aug 7 '12 at 12:03

Remember that in dired mode, the s option will toggle the sort order, but with a prefix argument, will let you change the switch to ls.

From http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Dired-Updating.html:

C-u s switches <RET> lets you specify a new value for dired-listing-switches.

So when I want human-readable sizes listed in my dired buffer, I type:

C-u s -lah <enter>

and you'll see what you need. Ditto for any other options to ls.

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