The ls command lists the contents of a directory.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

13
votes
3answers
508 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
votes
3answers
13k 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
4answers
46k 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?
12
votes
3answers
755 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
13k 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 (such as in a script where you're piping the results to another command) is there a switch that can turn it ...
12
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
14k 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
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
8k 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
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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
1answer
865 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
votes
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
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
6answers
20k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
745 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
4answers
24k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
312 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
1answer
919 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
4answers
9k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
9k 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
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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
948 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
605 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!
8
votes
1answer
15k 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
8
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
8
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
554 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
2answers
1k 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
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 ...
7
votes
8answers
10k 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 | ...
7
votes
6answers
3k 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
7answers
10k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
505 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
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
7answers
4k views

ls content of a directory ignoring symlinks

I have a directory in which I would like to list all the content (files and sub directories) without showing the symbolic links. I am using GNU utilities on Linux. The ls version is 8.13. Example: ...
7
votes
4answers
19k 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
416 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
1answer
3k 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
3answers
4k views

How do i open all files that are the result of a ls command?

I'd like to open all text files that are the result of a ls command using a text editor. How do i do this?
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
222 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 ...