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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  GLS (1)


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
  scale sizes by SIZE before printing them; e.g., ’--block-size=M’ prints sizes in units of 1,048,576 bytes; see SIZE format below
-B, --ignore-backups
  do not list implied entries ending with ~
-c 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
-C 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
-f 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\/
-g 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/or -s, print human readable sizes (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)
--si 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 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
-l 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
-m 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 raw entry names (don’t treat e.g. control characters specially)
-o 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
-r, --reverse
  reverse order while sorting
-R, --recursive
  list subdirectories recursively
-s, --size print the allocated size of each file, in blocks
-S sort by file size, largest first
  sort by WORD instead of name: none (-U), size (-S), time (-t), version (-v), extension (-X)
  with -l, show time as WORD instead of default modification time: atime or access or use (-u); ctime or status (-c); also use specified time as sort key if --sort=\,time\/ (newest first)
  with -l, show times using style STYLE: full-iso, long-iso, iso, locale, or +FORMAT; FORMAT is interpreted like in ’date’; if FORMAT is FORMAT1<newline>FORMAT2, then 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
-t sort by modification time, newest first
-T, --tabsize=\,COLS\/
  assume tab stops at each COLS instead of 8
-u with -lt: sort by, and show, access time; with -l: show access time and sort by name; otherwise: sort by access time, newest first
-U do not sort; list entries in directory order
-v natural sort of (version) numbers within text
-w, --width=\,COLS\/
  set output width to COLS. 0 means no limit
-x list entries by lines instead of by columns
-X sort alphabetically by entry extension
-Z, --context
  print any security context of each file
-1 list one file per line. Avoid ’\n’ with -q or -b
--help 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).

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:

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


Written by Richard M. Stallman and David MacKenzie.


GNU coreutils online help: <>
Report ls translation bugs to <>


Copyright © 2016 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 at: <>
or available locally via: info \(aq(coreutils) ls invocation\(aq
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GNU coreutils 8.25 LS (1) January 2016

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