Questions tagged [ls]

The ls command lists the contents of a directory.

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1136
votes
16answers
2.5m views

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

I tried to obtain the size of a directory (containing directories and sub directories) 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 ...
519
votes
4answers
1.2m views

How do I make `ls` show file sizes in megabytes?

What commands do I need for Linux's ls to show the file size in MB?
267
votes
10answers
542k views

How to list all files ordered by size

I would like to list all files in the order of big to small in size and the files could be present anywhere in a certain folder.
239
votes
4answers
334k views

What do the fields in ls -al output mean?

The ls -al command shows the following output; -rwxrw-r-- 10 root root 2048 Jan 13 07:11 afile.exe What are all the fields in the preceding display?
220
votes
8answers
39k views

Why *not* parse `ls` (and what to do instead)?

I consistently see answers quoting this link stating definitively "Don't parse ls!" This bothers me for a couple of reasons: It seems the information in that link has been accepted wholesale with ...
207
votes
3answers
35k views

Why is 'ls' suddenly wrapping 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 ...
154
votes
8answers
193k views

What causes this green background in ls output?

There are two directories shown by 'ls'. Normally directories anywhere are blue on black background. But the first one is blue on green and impossible to read. Why is this? How to make it blue on ...
134
votes
10answers
114k views

List files sorted numerically

I have a bunch of files from log1 to log164. I'm trying to LIST the directory (sorted) in a UNIX terminal but the sort functions are only providing the format like this: home:logs Home$ ls -1 | sort ...
134
votes
7answers
45k views

What does the @ mean in ls -l?

I am using Mac OSX. When I type ls -l I see something like drwxr-xr-x@ 12 xonic staff 408 22 Jun 19:00 . drwxr-xr-x 9 xonic staff 306 22 Jun 19:42 .. -rwxrwxrwx@ 1 xonic staff 6148 25 ...
132
votes
8answers
300k views

List only regular files (but not directories) in current directory

I can use ls -ld */ to list all the directory entries in the current directory. Is there a similarly easy way to just list all the regular files in the current directory? I know I can use find find . ...
123
votes
6answers
183k views

How do I do a ls and then sort the results by date created?

In what order are the dated ordered by? Certainly not alphanumeric order. ls -lt sorts by modification time. But I need creation time.
109
votes
4answers
296k views

How to get only files created after a date with ls?

With the ls command, is it possible to show only the files created after a specific date, hour...? I'm asking it because I have a directory with thousand of files. I want so see all files that were ...
105
votes
1answer
51k views

What does the “@” (at) symbol mean on OSX ls? [duplicate]

When I check permission of less files from the command line on my Snow Leopard OSX system using Bash I see -rw-r--r--@ for certain files and for others I just see -rw-r--r-- What does the @ mean here?
102
votes
7answers
163k 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 or tail to be executed I need to wait for ls to finish execution, and with directories ...
100
votes
4answers
160k views

last time file opened

Is it possible to get the time when file was opened last time and sort all files in a directory by those times?
92
votes
8answers
234k 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 ...
86
votes
5answers
75k views

The result of ls * , ls ** and ls ***

I know using the command ls will list all the directories. But what does the ls * command do ? I used it and it just lists the directories. Does the star in front of ls mean how deep it will list the ...
86
votes
11answers
130k views

Sorting files according to size recursively

I need to find the largest files in a folder. How do I scan a folder recursively and sort the contents by size? I have tried using ls -R -S, but this lists the directories as well. I also tried ...
86
votes
10answers
96k views

Is there any option with 'ls' command that I see only the directories?

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 ...
82
votes
11answers
248k 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 directory,...
81
votes
2answers
283k 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"; ...
79
votes
8answers
142k views

Linux ls to show only filename date and size

How can I use ls in linux to get a listing of filenames date and size only. I don't need to see the other info such as owner or permission. Is this possible?
78
votes
2answers
79k views

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

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?
74
votes
6answers
62k views

Understanding UNIX permissions and file types

I've never really got how chmod worked up until today. I followed a tutorial that explained a big deal to me. For example, I've read that you've got three different permission groups: owner (u) ...
73
votes
4answers
73k views

The ls command is not working for a directory with a huge number of files

I had a directory which had around 5 million files. When I tried to run the ls command from inside this directory, my system consumed a huge amount of memory and it hung after sometime. Is there an ...
72
votes
2answers
29k views

What do the symbols displayed by ls -F mean?

I noticed that if I run ls -F on a directory, some of the entries have a * or a @ after them. spuder@ubuntu:~$ ls -F /sbin acpi_available* getpcaps* lvmconf* ntfscp* ...
70
votes
4answers
76k 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 ...
68
votes
6answers
196k 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 ...
67
votes
4answers
160k 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) ...
67
votes
4answers
23k views

What does size of a directory mean in output of 'ls -l' command?

What does size of a directory mean in output of ls -l command?
66
votes
4answers
97k views

Find the owner of a directory or file, but only return that and nothing else

I am looking for a command that will return the owner of a directory and only that--such as a regex parsing the ls -lat command or something similar? I want to use the result in another script.
61
votes
9answers
144k views

How do I echo just 1 column of output from ls command?

Lets say when I do ls command the output is: file1 file2 file3 file4 Is it possible to display only a certain column of output, in this case file2? I have tried the following with no success: echo ...
61
votes
7answers
79k views

How to match case insensitive patterns with ls?

I would like to list all files matching a certain pattern while ignoring the case. For example, I run the following commands: ls *abc* I want to see all the files that have "abc" as a part of the ...
58
votes
3answers
55k 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 ...
57
votes
14answers
42k views

What's the most resource efficient way to count how many files are in a directory?

CentOS 5.9 I came across an issue the other day where a directory had a lot of files. To count it, I ran ls -l /foo/foo2/ | wc -l Turns out that there were over 1 million files in a single ...
56
votes
3answers
32k 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 ...
56
votes
5answers
39k views

What is the difference between ls and l? [duplicate]

I accidentally typed l instead of ls today and found that the command still printed a list of the files in my current directory. Trying l --help brings up the help file for ls suggesting that l is ...
56
votes
1answer
97k 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 won't fit in ...
52
votes
2answers
83k views

What does the 'd' mean in ls -al results and what is that slot called? [duplicate]

In Linux, what does the d mean in the first position of drwxr-xr-x? And what are all of the possible letters that could be there, and what do they mean? I'm trying to learn more about the Linux file ...
51
votes
9answers
83k 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 off?...
51
votes
5answers
101k 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 ...
50
votes
6answers
159k 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?
49
votes
2answers
34k views

Output from ls has newlines but displays on a single line. Why?

I think I may be overlooking a relatively fundamental point regarding shell. Output from the ls command by default separates output with newlines, but the shell displays the output on a single line. ...
48
votes
7answers
11k views

why does ls -d also list files, and where is it documented?

when specifying ls --directory a* it should list only directories starting with a* BUT it lists files AND directories starting with a Questions: where might I find some documentation on this, other ...
46
votes
11answers
67k views

Show only hidden files (dot files) in ls alias

I'm using the command ls -a | grep '^\.' for showing only the hidden files. I added the line alias hidden='ls -a | grep '^\.'' # show only hidden files to .bash_aliases file but this does not ...
44
votes
9answers
129k views

How to list files without directories, and filter by name (ls options)

I have a directory called uploads. It contains a bunch of files, plus a few subdirectories which in turn contain files. Is there a way I can (in one step) do the following: List ONLY the files in ...
43
votes
3answers
79k views

dircolors: modify color settings globaly

I understand ls uses dircolors to display colored output. dircolors has default database of colors associated with file extensions, which can be printed wiht the command dircolors --print-database ...
42
votes
4answers
119k views

Why does “ls | wc -l” show the correct number of files in current directory? [duplicate]

Trying to count number of files in current directory, I found ls -1 | wc -l, which means: send the list of files (where every filename is printed in a new line) to the input of wc, where -l will count ...
40
votes
2answers
28k views

What is the number between file permission and owner in ls -l command output?

The output of ls -l command yields the following result: What is the number field between file permission and owner? i.e. what are those 1, 1, 1, and 2? I checked the --help but that doesn't explain ...
39
votes
2answers
33k views

Why does a new directory have a hard link count of 2 before anything is added to it?

Say I just create directory newDirectory and then I do ls -ld command. I see that the number of hard links is 2. What exactly makes the hard link 2 from the start? Also is the number of subdirectories ...

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