Sometimes, I need to check only the directories not files. Is there any option with the command ls? Or is there any utility for doing that?

EDIT: I'm using Mac OS X, and ls -d gives me . even though I have directories.

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    Can somebody explain why ls -d gives only . and why the */ must be added to the end to make it work? – cwd Oct 4 '11 at 2:49
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    @cwd If you don't specify any files, ls defaults to .. And -d means don't print the directory's contents, print the directory itself. – Mikel May 23 '12 at 14:52
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    @cwd try using ls -p it shows the / after the directory names. So */ is just a pattern which is matched against the directory name and / combo. – Pitt Oct 24 '12 at 15:55

I know there is already a selected answer, but you can get the requested behavior with just ls:

ls -ld -- */

(Note that the '--' marks the end of parameters, preventing folder names beginning with a hyphen from being interpreted as further command options.)

This will list all the non-hidden (unless you configure your shell's globs to expand them) directories in the current working directory where it is run (note that it also includes symbolic links to directories). To get all the subdirectories of some other folder, just try:

ls -ld /path/to/directory/*/

Note that the -l is optional.

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    Nice. I never considered that directories have an implicit / on the end--but now that I see you answer it makes sense. After all, tab-completion always adds it. – gvkv Sep 6 '10 at 3:46
  • -d for dir, -l for long format. whats the purpose of -- ? – Dineshkumar Apr 17 '15 at 15:03
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    While this looks short and works for most cases, one may not want to use this approach when a true directory is needed, not a directory's symlink. So find is actually a good choice in that case. – biocyberman Jan 31 '17 at 20:59
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    find also has the advantage when the number of directories exceeds the maximum argument length. – Steven D Feb 1 '17 at 9:31
  • Working backwards, I just realised you can simply ignore anything with an extension: ls -alhF --ignore=*.*. Not sure how well this would handle 'hidden' folders, i.e. .myHiddenFolder – Timmah Nov 1 '17 at 0:46

No, but a simple find command will do it:

find . -type d -depth 1

or grep

ls -F | grep /

You could then alias either one if necessary.

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    On Ubuntu 14.04 it was -maxdepth 1. Also find wanted me to flip the order: find . -maxdepth 1 -type d – Brad Cupit Aug 28 '15 at 14:33
  • That ls -F | grep / solution works wonders! It seems to be the only one I can get to work on my FreeBSD machine. I think using Fish means that anything with */ may not work? – cjm Jul 27 '16 at 4:38
  • I've never worked with Fish so I'm not sure about that but the -F option can work wonders. – gvkv Jul 27 '16 at 13:21

I like the tree utility to get an overview over the directory structure. It's available in MacPorts and all Linux distributions I've tried.

tree -d -L 2

That would show all directories, two levels deep.


I also needed to view hidden directories so have modified the suggestion above to fit my needs

ls -d -- */ .*/

(depending on the shell, that may also include . and ..)


With zsh (as found by default on macOS, it even used to be /bin/sh there), you'd use glob qualifiers to select files based on their type:

  • List non-hidden directories:

    ls -d -- *(/)
  • List all directories:

    ls -d -- *(D/)

    (. and .. are always excluded, add them individually if you want them)

  • Also include symlinks to directories:

    ls -d -- *(D-/)

    (- makes so further qualifiers apply after symlink resolution).


I think ls has a bug on Mac OS X. A workaround is to use grep... ls -l / | grep "^d"

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    It's nice to know I'm not the only person that uses the grep "^d" hack – Michael Mrozek Sep 6 '10 at 2:10
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    As far as I know, the behavior he describes is not a bug and is the same if one is using GNU ls. The -d option displays the listing for the directory and not the contents. To see why this can be useful see the difference between: ls -l /home and ls -dl /home – Steven D Sep 6 '10 at 2:11
  • Carats aren't special to the shell. You can just use ls -l / | grep ^d. If you are going to use quotes, since you don't need parameter expansion, make them single quotes. ls -l / | grep '^d'. Yes, I'm a pedant. But really, do this. :) – Wildcard Nov 1 '16 at 1:08
$ ls -p | grep /

The -p flag will make ls add a slash (`/') after each filename if that file is a directory.


The easiest way is to type the following command. This works across most UNIX and Linux platforms and versions. You can skip the -F if you want, but it is the argument that adds the / to the end of the directory name. The -C argument captures only directory names - all of them in the current directory. If you want to see only directories and subdirectories in the current path, simply add the -R argument (ls -CFR).

# ls -CF
/dir1  /dir2  /dir3  /beaches  /Work  /Other 
  • In all ls implementations I know and in the POSIX specification of ls, -C is to output in columns, not to skip non-directory files. In your example, the / are printed before the file names, which no ls implementation would do. With -F, / is appended to the file name for directory files. – Stéphane Chazelas Jun 21 '18 at 16:15
  • When I saw this answer, I wondered “Where is this true?” @StéphaneChazelas and Jeff Schaller — don’t you downvote blatantly wrong answers? – G-Man Feb 21 at 3:51
ls -G

this will show your directories in blue

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    Do you see only the directories when using this command ? – don_crissti Nov 1 '16 at 0:55

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