The ls command lists the contents of a directory.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

11
votes
5answers
846 views

How do I get the size of a directory on the command line?

I tried to obtain the size of a folder (containing folders and sub folders) by using the ls command with option l. It seems to work for files (ls -l file name), but if I try to get the size of a ...
11
votes
1answer
30k views

How can I assign the output of a command to a shell variable?

I want to assign the result of an expression to a variable and concatenate it with a string, then echo it. Here's what I've got: #!/bin/bash cd ~/Desktop; thefile= ls -t -U | grep -m 1 "Screen Shot"; ...
11
votes
9answers
32k views

Show sum of file sizes in directory listing

The Windows dir directory listing command has a line at the end showing the total amount of space taken up by the files listed. For example, dir *.exe shows all the .exe files in the current ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
12k 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
11
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
691 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
6answers
7k 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?
10
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
289 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
4answers
36k views

How can I list subdirectories recursively?

The obvious ls -dR does not work. I am currently using find /path/ -type d -ls but the output is not what I need (plain listing of sub-folders) Is there a way out?
9
votes
2answers
7k views

List all files with the same inode number?

Lets say, when I do ls -li inside a directory, I get this: 12353538 -rw-r--r-- 6 me me 1650 2013-01-10 16:33 fun.txt As the output shows, the file fun.txt has 6 hard links; and the inode number is ...
9
votes
1answer
809 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
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
7k 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
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
4answers
5k 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
838 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
4answers
19k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
11k views

How do I limit the number of files printed by ls?

Is there a way to limit the quantity of listed files on a ls command? I've seen: ls | head -4 but to get head to be executed I need to wait for ls to finish execution, and with directories with an ...
8
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
950 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
450 views

How do I columnate a list of items with minimal width?

How do I columnate any uncollumnated input like ls does? ls is creating an optimized table with minimum width for each row, for example: ls 2 dsao file with space with 5 e g ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
995 views

Controlling what files to display

I recently changed my emacs config to hide backup files by prepending a dot to the file name. This got me to thinking - is there a ready way to change the behavior within Bash to use a list of ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to remove folder prefix from a `ls` command

I am in a bash script and I want to get the list of all files (let say all jar files). I execute the command ls -1 lib/*.jar and I get the output: lib/mylib_1.jar lib/mylib_2.jar ... Is there any ...
7
votes
4answers
482 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views

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

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Which is more efficient, ls or ls -l?

As I understand, the ls command calls getdents, which returns up to x number of directory entries. Are there any other system calls involved? If I run ls -l, are there any more system calls? I am ...
7
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
381 views

Symbol that will show up first in output of `ls`?

I want a folder called DELETED to be first in my output of ls. Is there a symbol I can add to the front that can cause this? I've tried ^ and - and neither works.
7
votes
4answers
7k views

How to turn off color with `ls`?

It is normally nice to have color output from ls, grep, etc. But when you don't want it, is there a switch that can turn it off? ls -G turns it on (with BSD-derived versions of ls) if it's not the ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

What does ll alias to?

ll is a common alias in many linux distros. How can you tell what it aliases to? I've tried checking my .bashrc, but I am not able tell what ll is equivalent to.
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

`ls` command does not list latest directory contents

The Linux shell does not print up-to-date information when it comes to ls. For example I use my other processes (IDEs etc) to create some directories. However when I run an ls command I don't see ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why isn't the ls command listing huge filesizes?

In my Redhat Linux, I am getting the following error when executing the ls command. # ls ls: sugar.sql: Value too large for defined data type
7
votes
2answers
206 views

Different colour for the KiB range in `ls -l`

Is there any sane way to highlight the 4th, 5th, and 6th columns from the right of the file size in ls -l? My intention is to make it easy to read a file size be it in bytes, KiBs, or MiBs. I do know ...
7
votes
1answer
564 views

Using dircolors, how do I change the color of my subversion folders

Below is a sample of my dircolors file, I want subversion folders (.svn) to be colored, but i guess the extension section only applies to file names. How do i set colors for directories with ...
6
votes
2answers
589 views

Why “ls” doesnt show the file that “find” discovered ?

(New to unix) In ubuntu When I am up in "/" folder i type sudo find . -name .erlang.cookie and the result is ./var/lib/rabbitmq/.erlang.cookie then when I am on the folder - /var/lib/rabbitmq ...
6
votes
6answers
11k views

How to output only file names (with spaces) in ls -Al?

I should echo only names of files or directories with this construction: ls -Al | while read string do ... done ls -Al output : drwxr-xr-x 12 s162103 studs 12 march 28 12:49 personal ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How to get the relative paths with ls?

I'd like to do something like this to move the last two downloaded files: mv ` ls -rt ~/Downloads/ | tail -2 ` . Unfortunately, ls only gives the filenames. How can I adapt the code above? (Before ...
6
votes
3answers
529 views

Bash autocomplete gives different file name than ls

An incredibly strange thing just happened. Through a serious typo, I entered cp filename.xsl .^?~ Yeah, that's right, dot-caret-questionmark-tilde! Truth is stranger than fiction. It gets weirder. ...
6
votes
3answers
147 views

Excluding . and .. from results in find and ls

Is there any way to prevent find and ls -l from listing . and .. in their results? I never care about seeing this result in the output, and it prevents me from effectively piping their output to wc -l ...
6
votes
4answers
9k views

List symlinks in current directory?

This question talks about finding directories in a current diretory. The solution is basically: ls -d */ That's great but how can I easily list symlinks? Do I have to use something like find . ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Compare files that are in directory 1 but not directory 2?

I'm having trouble with a bash script I want to make I know ls will list files that are in a directory but I want it to list directories that are in directory1 but NOT in directory2, and then list ...
6
votes
2answers
109 views

Exclude one directory in `ls` matching pattern

I'm trying to ls dirs that have .png files inside (no need for recursiveness, though it would be extra useful), exept one. Exlude one directory i.e. ls */*.png works fine. ls (^one)*/*.png ...
6
votes
3answers
956 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
20k views

ls list files not matching given string in filename

I have a directory in which lots of files (around 200) with the name temp_log.$$ are created with several other important files which I need to check. How can I easily list out all the files and ...