Table of Contents


1. Name

ls - list directory contents

2. Synopsis

ls [OPTION]... [FILE]...

3. Description

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

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 octal escapes for nongraphic characters
use SIZE-byte blocks
-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
list entries by columns
control whether color is used to distinguish file types. WHEN may be ‘never’, ‘always’, or ‘auto’
-d, --directory
list directory entries instead of contents, and do not dereference symbolic links
-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
-G, --no-group
in a long listing, don’t print group names
-h, --human-readable
with -l, print sizes in human readable format (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)
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)
append indicator with style WORDto 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
like --block-size=1K
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 numericuser and group IDs
-N, --literal
print raw entry names (don’t treat e.g. control characters specially)
like -l, but do not list group information
-p, --indicator-style=slash
append / indicator to directories
-q, --hide-control-chars
print ? instead of non graphic characters
show non graphic characters as-is (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, c, escape
-r, --reverse
reverse order while sorting
-R, --recursive
list subdirectories recursively
-s, --size
print the size of each file, in blocks
sort by file size
sort by WORD instead of name: none -U, extension -X, size -S, time -t, version -v
with -l, show time as WORD instead of modification time: atime -u, access -u,use -u, ctime -c, or status -c; use specified time as sort key if --sort=time
with -l, show times using style STYLE: full-iso, long-iso, iso, locale, +FORMAT. FORMAT is interpreted like ‘date’; if FORMAT is FORMAT1<newline>FORMAT2, FORMAT1 applies to non-recent files and FORMAT2 to recent files; if STYLE is prefixed with ‘posix-’, STYLE takes effect only outside the POSIX locale
sort by modification 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
do not sort; list entries in directory order
sort by version
-w, --width=COLS
assume screen width instead of current value
list entries by lines instead of by columns
sort alphabetically by entry extension
-Z, --context
print any SELinux security context of each file
list one file per line
display this help and exit
output version information and exit

SIZE may be (or may be an integer optionally followed by) one of following: kB 1000, K 1024, MB 1000*1000, M 1024*1024, and so on for G, T, P, E, Z, Y.

By default,color is not used to distinguish types of files. That is equivalent to using --color=none. Using the --color option without the optional WHEN argument is equivalent to using --color=always. With --color=auto, color codes are output only if standard output is connected to a terminal (tty). The environment variable LS_COLORS can influence the colors, and can be set easily by the dircolors command.

Exit status is 0 if OK, 1 if minor problems, 2 if serious trouble.

4. Author

Written by Richard Stallman and David MacKenzie.

5. Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. Copyright © 2008 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.

7. See Also

The full documentation for ls is maintained as a Texinfomanual. If the info and ls programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info coreutils ’ls invocation’

should give you access to the complete manual.


Table of Contents


Free Linux eBooks

Do you have the right skills?

Our IT Skills Watch page reflects an up to date IT skills demand leaning towards the Linux and Unix environment. We have considered a number of skills and operating systems.

See the result...

Linux Online Training

Learn to run Linux servers and prepare for LPI certification with Linux Academy. 104 available video lessons with PDF course notes with your own server!

Go to top