The ls command lists the contents of a directory.

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14
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4answers
30k views

Argument list too long for ls

I get the following error when trying to ls *.txt | wc -l a directory that contains many files: -bash: /bin/ls: Argument list too long Does the threshold of this "Argument list" dependent on distro ...
14
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5answers
6k views

case-insensitive search of duplicate file-names

I there a way to find all files in a directory with duplicate filenames, regardless of the casing (upper-case and/or lower-case)?
14
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1answer
11k views

ls taking long time in small directory

Running Ubuntu, I open a terminal and do sudo bash cd / ls | head -n 1000 And predictably about 20 directories are returned. However, if I do an ls, and don't pipe it into anything, the ls just ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

What to use when the “ls” command doesn't work?

I tried to use the ls command and got an error: bash: /bin/ls: cannot execute binary file What can I use instead of this command?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

No colored output in less for the ls command

If I run ls I get colored output which I find pretty handy for quickly getting a glance of the kind of file. When I try to pipe it to less even with the -r and -R flags the coloring always get lost. I ...
13
votes
7answers
17k views

How to report number of files in all subdirectories?

I need to inspect all sub-directories and report how many files (without further recursion) they contain: directoryName1 numberOfFiles directoryName2 numberOfFiles
13
votes
5answers
328 views

How can I find the first missing directory in a long path?

Imagine I have a path that doesn't exist: $ ls /foo/bar/baz/hello/world ls: cannot access /foo/bar/baz/hello/world: No such file or directory But let's say /foo/bar does exist. Is there a quick way ...
13
votes
3answers
283 views

Why is 'ls' suddenly surrounding items with spaces in single quotes?

I just noticed that on one of my machines (running Debian Sid) whenever I type ls any file name with spaces has single quotes surrounding it. I immediately checked my aliases, only to find them ...
13
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1answer
6k views

What does a dot after the file permission bits mean?

I performed an ls -la on directory on my CentOS 6.4 server here and the permissions for a given file came out as: -rwxr-xr-x. I understand what -rwxr-xr-x means, what I don't understand is the . ...
13
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2answers
5k views

Why does ls sorting ignore non-alphanumeric characters?

When sorting file names, ls ignores characters like -,_. I expected it to use those characters in sorting as well. An example: touch a1 a2 a-1 a-2 a_1 a_2 a.1 a.2 a,1 a,2 Now display these files ...
13
votes
3answers
518 views

When does `ls -s` print “0”

Of course, the standard way of testing if a file is empty is with test -s FILE, but one of our clients have received a script containing tests like this: RETVAL=`ls -s ./log/cr_trig.log | awk '{print ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Why does “ls” require a separate process for executing?

Why does ls require a separate process for its execution? I know the reason why commands like cd can't be executed by forking mechanism but is there any harm if ls is executed without forking?
12
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5answers
32k views

Difference between ls -l and ll?

I'm relatively new to programming as a whole and some tutorials have been telling me to use ls -l to look at files in a directory and others have been saying ll. I know that ls is a short list, but ...
12
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3answers
14k views

What is the Linux equivalent of DOS “dir /s /b filename”?

List all files/dirs in or below the current directory that match 'filename'.
12
votes
3answers
5k views

EXT3: If block size is 4K, why does ls -l show file sizes below that?

If you run ls -l on a file that contains one letter, it will list as 2B in size. If your file system is in 4k blocks, I thought it rounded files up to the block size? Is it because ls -l actually ...
12
votes
4answers
14k views

View permission / owner of full directory tree

I remember doing someting like "XXX /home/user/dir/child/file" and it returned the owner and/or permission of: /home /home/user /home/user/dir /home/user/child /home/user/child/file But I don't ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

“ls -lh” reports total size less than sum of individual sizes

Under what circumstances would ls -lh show a total that is less than the sum of the individual files? For example: $ ls -lh /var/lib/nova/instances/_base total 100G -rw-rw-r-- 1 nova nova ...
12
votes
6answers
10k views

What does the “number” in the owner field of files signify in linux?

I copied many files to my new linux host. I see that all files have the owner and group both set to 515. What does that mean?
12
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4answers
4k views

What is the “directory order” of files in a directory (used by `ls -U`)?

According to the man page for ls, ls -U means: do not sort; list entries in directory order. What does "directory order" mean, and how is it determined? The following test (executed on an ...
11
votes
2answers
406 views

Why does `watch` make `ls /tmp` list contents of $HOME?

I'm trying to watch number of files in my /tmp/ directory. For this I thought this command would work: watch sh -c 'ls /tmp/|wc -l' But it appears to work as if ls had no arguments. Namely, I'm in ...
11
votes
1answer
20k views

Alias for directory listing sorted by time modified in reverse order

When I need to find my recently used files, this command: ls -lt lists in ascending order (by time), when there are lots files, I need to scroll to the top to see needed files, because wont fit in ...
11
votes
1answer
984 views

'ls' showing two identical files in a directory

So somehow the command ls seems to be showing me two identical files in a directory. I am certainly not doing something right here. Behold $ ls -Blah /System/Library/LaunchDaemons total 32 ...
11
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1answer
3k views

ls everything that is _not_ a symlink

Does ls have a way to show negated conditions like "all files which are not a symlink"? I use the latter a lot in a project directory but other negations would be useful as well. For now, my research ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I make ls sort underscore characters first?

I like being able to name files and directories with an underscore prefix if it's something I want to keep separate from other files and directories at the same level. On Windows and Mac, for example, ...
10
votes
6answers
672 views

How do I display the nth result of an ls command?

I used this command to display the first result of files in my directory. ls | head -n 1 My simple question is, how can I modify this command to display say the nth result? Thanks!
10
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4answers
477 views

List files that match a pattern but ignore files that match another pattern?

Let's say I have a directory with files a1, a2, a3, b1, b2, b3. I only want to match files that start with a but don't contain 3. I tried ls -I "*3" *a* but it returns a1 a2 a3, even though I don't ...
10
votes
2answers
806 views

Highlight the three last updated files in ls output

Is there any way to overload or wrap the ls command so that it will highlight / underline / otherwise make obvious the last three modified files? I know that I can simply ls -rtl to order by reverse ...
10
votes
1answer
13k views

+ or @ mark after running 'ls -al'

In Mac OS X, run 'ls -al' gives me something like this. drwxrwxrwx+ 4 smcho staff 136 May 5 09:18 Public drwxr-xr-x+ 6 smcho staff 204 Feb 1 2010 Sites drwxrwxrwx 9 smcho staff ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

What's the difference between “s” and “S” in ls -la?

When I ls -la, it prints many attributes. Something like this: -rwSrwSr-- 1 www-data www-data 45 2012-01-04 05:17 README Shamefully, I have to confess I don't know the exact meaning of each ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is sorting files by access time not working?

I tried to use command ls --time=atime it was working in one directory but wasn't working in another directory. I opened certain files in vim, evince and other applications but after the command file ...
10
votes
1answer
12k views

How can I use `find` and sort the results by mtime?

I want to use find but sort the results reverse chronologically as with ls -ltr. Is this possible through any combo of flags or pipelines?
10
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1answer
334 views

Include colouring in GNU ls time-style

I know, I can specify custom time format for ls like this ls -lAF --time-style="+ %Y-%b-%d %H:%M:%S" --color=always but I would like to "smuggle in" colors inside the time format. For example, I ...
9
votes
2answers
33k views

List subdirectories only n level deep

Festival stores voicepack data in the following example directory structure: /usr/share/festival/voices/<language>/<voicepack name> What is the simplest one-liner (preferably using ls) ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Using OR patterns in shell wildcards

Contents of my dir are $ ls -lrt total 0 -rw-r--r-- 1 user1 admin 19 Oct 8 12:31 night.txt -rw-r--r-- 1 user1 admin 19 Oct 8 12:31 noon.txt -rw-r--r-- 1 user1 admin 38 Oct 8 12:31 day.txt I ...
9
votes
4answers
22k views

How to find a file in the filesystem from the command line?

I'm fairly new to Linux, and I've now found myself in a situation where I'd like to find where a file (with a partially-known filename) is in the file system. I'd like to know how to do this from the ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Where is “showing the output of the 'ls' command vertically” documented?

I found out it's possible to show the output of the ls command vertically using the -1 switch: $ ls -1 But couldn't find it in the manual of ls. Is it a secret option?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I get a long listing for a single directory?

I want to see a long listing for a single directory. When I type ls -lha, I see this: drwxrwxr-x 4 username groupname 4.0K 2010-08-05 09:55 files drwxrwxr-x 7 username groupname 4.0K 2010-08-05 ...
9
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3answers
11k views

How can I display octal notation of permissions with ls - and can octal represent all permissions? [duplicate]

After looking at the man page for ls on my system and searching Google, I see there IS a hack of way to use awk or perl to show octal permissions when using ls, but with bash is there anything more ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to ls using the long format (-l) while still following directory symlinks?

I've noticed that ls -l doesn't only change the formatting of the output, but also how directory symlinks are handled: > ls /rmn biweekly.sh daily.sh logs ... > ls -l /rmn lrwxrwxrwx 1 root ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Output ls -l size field with digits grouped by thousands?

It is possible to make ls -l output the size field with digits grouped by thousands? If so, how? For instance: $ ls -l -rw-rw---- 1 dahl dahl 43,210,052 2012-01-01 21:52 test.py (Note the commas ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I use ms-dos style wildcards with ls and mv?

I have the misfortune of coming from a MS-DOS background - but at least it makes me appreciate how much more powerful Linux is. I've been working on getting my Linux-Fu up to par, but there are a ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why could the size of the “dot” file “.” exceed 4096?

Today I found an "empty" directory with a size of 4MB. It had no visible contents, so I tried ls -lah. This showed me some hidden files (not very large). Searching for the reason why the directory ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Testing LS_COLORS in zsh

A few years ago I found an interesting code snippet that prints each type of file in its corresponding color according to the colors set up in LS_COLORS. Unfortunately, I can't remember the link ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the point of ls -f (or, why is this hanging?)

I've got a directory with about 100,000 files in it. ls -f hangs for over a minute. I ran strace, and immediately started seeing getdents, so ls is clearly reading the directory. I also see a lot ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I pipe ls to grep, and delete the files filtered by grep?

I wanted to delete some package in my home file, but the filename was too long (google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb). So, I decided to use the command ls|grep chrome|rm to pipe the files to grep to ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Why does “ls -all” show year or time?

If you issue ls -all command some files or directories have the year and some have the time? Why do some show the year while others show the time? Is the time representative of the time the file was ...
8
votes
8answers
13k views

Convert ls -l output format to chmod format

Say I have the following output from ls -l: drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 7 17:21 foo How can I automatically convert this to the format used by chmod? For example: $ echo drwxr-xr-x | ...
8
votes
7answers
11k views

What's the best way to count the number of files in a directory?

If parsing the output of ls is dangerous because it can break on some funky characters (spaces, \n, ... ), what's the best way to know the number of files in a directory? I usualy rely on find to ...
8
votes
4answers
532 views

ls command operating differently depending on recipient

How does commands like ls know what its stdout is? It seems ls is operating different depending on what the target stdout is. For example if I do: ls /home/matt/tmp the result is: a.txt b.txt ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is there a correct way to list the subdirectories of the current directory?

I can find the subdirectories of a directory by ls -d -- */ or ls -l | grep "^d" but both of these seem indirect, and I would imagine that there would be a standard way to find just the ...