$ 7z l ~/Downloads/Tab

How to make the resulting list to be sorted by date, not by name?

I currently use special script to list N most recent files in a given directory (and copy the filename manually into command line), but want to make it seamless and more convenient.

  • 4
    Easy in zsh. I don't know if it's possible in bash. Sep 16, 2013 at 22:41
  • Do you want to just see the files listed by date or will you want to somehow add them to the archive in order of date?
    – terdon
    Sep 16, 2013 at 23:32
  • There are many various files in "Downloads" directory, and I want to access the recently downloaded file (maybe unpack it, maybe move somewhere, etc.).
    – Vi.
    Sep 17, 2013 at 11:15
  • Maybe fzf and its completion can do it
    – elig
    Oct 9, 2020 at 16:46

4 Answers 4


I don't think bash is able to do that, so you might try out zsh. I'm not a zsh user though but I think this configuration should work:

autoload -U compinit
zstyle ':completion:*' file-sort modification reverse

(reverse here to see newest files in the end of the list, because the upper part might not be visible on the screen.)


Occasionally I need to find the most recently downloaded file in my Downloads directory but may not know the exact file name. Here is how I do it.

ls -rt ~/Downloads

ls -t lists the files by time not name, with the most recent being displayed first. Since my Downloads directory contains so many files I don't want to scroll to the top of the list to see the most recent. ls -rt reverses the order of the list, displaying the most recent file at the bottom of the list.

From there you can do what you need quite easily. For example:

unzip $(ls -rt ~/Downloads | tail -n1)


mv $(ls -rt ~/Downloads | tail -n1) *some_other_location*

Your original question could be done like this:

7z l $(ls -rt ~/Downloads | tail -n1)

I realize this is not adhering to the Tab completion method but it may be suitable for your needs.

  • Not saves typing. Actually I alredy have a script rl with ls -lhtc "$@" | head -n $N do to this.
    – Vi.
    Sep 19, 2013 at 17:35
  • The question is how to intergate this or other script into <kbd>Tab</kbd> making think seamless.
    – Vi.
    Sep 19, 2013 at 17:36
  • Your snippet also tends to break on some tricky filenames, as typical for downloaded files.
    – Vi.
    Sep 19, 2013 at 17:42

I will do the following steps for it

  1. First I will find the files and their timestamps
  2. Sort them reversely
  3. Take top N
  4. Get the filenames
  5. Zip it or do whatever u like

And the script looks like this (May be complex)

find ~/Downloads/ -type f -printf '%TY-%Tm-%Td %TT %p\n' | sort -r | head -N | cut -d' ' -f3 | xargs 7z l
  • I already have similar script, named rl (recent list). But I need to explicitly call it, then copy&paste. I want it to be more integrated with tab completion.
    – Vi.
    Mar 3, 2014 at 14:32

In bash, you can get something close using, for example,

7z l ~/Downloads/Alt+n

Where bind has mapped Alt+n to a function that rewrites the READLINE_LINE variable.

To approximate tab completion, I do this with a argument-parsing-perl-kludge and fzf for presenting a menu.


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