Man1 - ls.1

Table of Contents


ls - list directory contents


ls [/OPTION/]… [/FILE/]…


List information about the FILEs (the current directory by default). Sort entries alphabetically if none of -cftuvSUX nor –sort is specified.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

-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 modification 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 omitted), ’auto’, or ’never’; more info below
-d, –directory
list directories themselves, not their contents
-D, –dired
generate output designed for Emacs’ dired mode
list all entries in directory order
-F, –classify[=/WHEN/]
append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries; WHEN can be ’always’ (default if omitted), ’auto’, or ’never’
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 (overridden 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 file system 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 program 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), width

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
end each output line with NUL, not newline
list one file per line
display this help and exit
output version information and exit

The SIZE argument is an integer and optional unit (example: 10K is 10*1024). Units are K,M,G,T,P,E,Z,Y (powers of 1024) or KB,MB,… (powers of 1000). Binary prefixes can be used, too: KiB=K, MiB=M, and so on.

The TIME_STYLE argument can be full-iso, long-iso, iso, locale, or +FORMAT. FORMAT is interpreted like in date(1). If FORMAT is FORMAT1<newline>FORMAT2, then FORMAT1 applies to non-recent files and FORMAT2 to recent files. TIME_STYLE prefixed with ’posix-’ takes effect only outside the POSIX locale. Also the TIME_STYLE environment variable sets the default style to use.

Using color to distinguish file types is disabled both by default and with *–color*=/never/. With *–color*=/auto/, ls emits color codes only when standard output is connected to a terminal. The LS_COLORS environment variable can change the settings. Use the dircolors command to set it.

Exit status:

if OK,
if minor problems (e.g., cannot access subdirectory),
if serious trouble (e.g., cannot access command-line argument).


Written by Richard M. Stallman and David MacKenzie.


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Copyright © 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Full documentation
or available locally via: info ’(coreutils) ls invocation’

Author: dt

Created: 2022-02-22 Tue 17:13