How to use the ls command in Linux


The ls command lists files and directories within the file system, and shows detailed information about them. It is a part of the GNU core utilities package which is installed on all Linux distributions.

List all files, including important dotfiles (hidden files), use:

all files
ls -a
To show a long format list of files
ls -al
-rw-------.  1 root root  1206 Jun 28 2019 anaconda-ks.cfg
-rw-------   1 root root 11467 May  5 16:13 .bash_history
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root    18 Jun 13 2019 .bash_logout
print sizes like 1K 234M 2G etc.
ls -lh
sort by time, newest first
ls -lht
sort them by size
ls -lhaS
drwxr-xr-x   840 root root    26K Nov 25 23:43 node_modules
-rw-r--r--     1 root root   1.1M Jun  8 23:46 package-lock.json

The syntax for the ls command is as follows:


-a, --all
do not ignore entries starting with .
-A, --almost-all
do not list implied . and ..
with -l, print the author of each file
-b, --escape
print C-style escapes for nongraphic characters
with -l, scale sizes by SIZE when printing them; e.g., '--block-size=M'; see SIZE format below
-B, --ignore-backups
do not list implied entries ending with ~
with -lt: sort by, and show, ctime (time of last modifica‐
tion of file status information); with -l: show ctime and sort by name; otherwise: sort by ctime, newest first
list entries by columns
colorize the output; WHEN can be 'always' (default if omit‐ ted), 'auto', or 'never'; more info below
-d, --directory
list directories themselves, not their contents
-D, --dired
generate output designed for Emacs' dired mode
do not sort, enable -aU, disable -ls --color
-F, --classify
append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries
likewise, except do not append '*'
across -x, commas -m, horizontal -x, long -l, single-column -1, verbose -l, vertical -C
like -l --time-style=full-iso
like -l, but do not list owner
group directories before files; can be augmented with a --sort option, but any use of --sort=none (-U) disables grouping
-G, --no-group
in a long listing, don't print group names
-h, --human-readable
with -l and -s, print sizes like 1K 234M 2G etc.
likewise, but use powers of 1000 not 1024
-H, --dereference-command-line
follow symbolic links listed on the command line
follow each command line symbolic link that points to a directory
do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN (over‐ ridden by -a or -A)
hyperlink file names; WHEN can be 'always' (default if omitted), 'auto', or 'never'
append indicator with style WORD to entry names: none (default), slash (-p), file-type (--file-type), classify (-F)
-i, --inode
print the index number of each file
-I, --ignore=PATTERN
do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN
-k, --kibibytes
default to 1024-byte blocks for disk usage; used only with -s and per directory totals
use a long listing format
-L, --dereference
when showing file information for a symbolic link, show information for the file the link references rather than for the link itself
fill width with a comma separated list of entries
-n, --numeric-uid-gid
like -l, but list numeric user and group IDs
-N, --literal
print entry names without quoting
like -l, but do not list group information
-p, --indicator-style=slash
append / indicator to directories
-q, --hide-control-chars
print ? instead of nongraphic characters
show nongraphic characters as-is (the default, unless pro‐ gram is 'ls' and output is a terminal)
-Q, --quote-name
enclose entry names in double quotes
use quoting style WORD for entry names: literal, locale, shell, shell-always, shell-escape, shell-escape-always, c, escape (overrides QUOTING_STYLE environment variable)
-r, --reverse
reverse order while sorting
-R, --recursive
list subdirectories recursively
-s, --size
print the allocated size of each file, in blocks
sort by file size, largest first
sort by WORD instead of name: none (-U), size (-S), time (-t), version (-v), extension (-X)
change the default of using modification times; access time (-u): atime, access, use; change time (-c): ctime, status; birth time: birth, creation; with -l, WORD determines which time to show; with --sort=time, sort by WORD (newest first)
time/date format with -l; see TIME_STYLE below
sort by time, newest first; see --time
-T, --tabsize=COLS
assume tab stops at each COLS instead of 8
with -lt: sort by, and show, access time; with -l: show
access time and sort by name; otherwise: sort by access time, newest first
do not sort; list entries in directory order
natural sort of (version) numbers within text
-w, --width=COLS
set output width to COLS. 0 means no limit
list entries by lines instead of by columns
sort alphabetically by entry extension
-Z, --context
print any security context of each file
list one file per line. Avoid '\n' with -q or -b
display this help and exit
output version information and exit

Related Tags

#Linux# #ls#