||FreeBSD General Commands Manual
list directory contents
For each operand that names a file of a type other than
jls displays its name as well as any
requested, associated information. For each operand that names a
file of type directory,
displays the names of files contained within that directory, as well as any
requested, associated information.
If no operands are given, the contents of the current directory
are displayed. If more than one operand is given, non-directory operands are
displayed first; directory and non-directory operands are sorted separately
and in lexicographical order.
The following options are available:
- List all entries except for . and
... Always set for the super-user.
- Force printing of non-printable characters (as defined by
and current locale settings) in file names as
xxx is the numeric value of the character in
- Force multi-column output; this is the default when output is to a
- Display a slash (‘
after each pathname that is a directory, an asterisk
*’) after each that is executable,
an at sign (‘
@’) after each symbolic
link, an equals sign (‘
each socket, a percent sign (‘
after each whiteout, and a vertical bar
|’) after each that is a
- Enable colorized output. This option is equivalent to defining
CLICOLOR in the environment. (See below.)
- Symbolic links on the command line are followed. This option is assumed if
none of the
-l options are specified.
- If argument is a symbolic link, list the file or directory the link
references rather than the link itself. This option cancels the
- If argument is a symbolic link, list the link itself rather than the
object the link references. This option cancels the
- Recursively list subdirectories encountered.
- When used with the
-l (lowercase letter
“ell”) option, display complete time information for the
file, including month, day, hour, minute, second, and year.
- Display whiteouts when scanning directories.
- Include directory entries whose names begin with a dot
-B, but use C escape codes whenever
- Use time when file status was last changed for sorting or printing.
- Directories are listed as plain files (not searched recursively).
- Output is not sorted.
- This option is deprecated and is only available for compatibility with
4.3BSD; it was used to display the group name in
the long (
-l) format output.
- When used with the
-l option, use unit suffixes:
Byte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte and Petabyte in order to
reduce the number of digits to four or fewer using base 2 for sizes.
- For each file, print the file's file serial number (inode number).
- If the
-s option is specified, print the file size
allocation in kilobytes, not blocks. This option overrides the environment
- (The lowercase letter “ell”.) List in long format. (See
below.) If the output is to a terminal, a total sum for all the file sizes
is output on a line before the long listing.
- Stream output format; list files across the page, separated by
- Display user and group IDs numerically rather than converting to a user or
group name in a long (
- Include the file flags in a long (
- Write a slash (‘
/’) after each
filename if that file is a directory.
- Force printing of non-graphic characters in file names as the character
?’; this is the default when output
is to a terminal.
- Reverse the order of the sort to get reverse lexicographical order or the
oldest entries first.
- Display the number of file system blocks actually used by each file, in
units of 512 bytes, where partial units are rounded up to the next integer
value. If the output is to a terminal, a total sum for all the file sizes
is output on a line before the listing. The environment variable
BLOCKSIZE overrides the unit size of 512
- Sort by time modified (most recently modified first) before sorting the
operands by lexicographical order.
- Use time of last access, instead of last modification of the file for
-t) or printing
- Force raw printing of non-printable characters. This is the default when
output is not to a terminal.
- The same as
-C, except that the multi-column
output is produced with entries sorted across, rather than down, the
- (The numeric digit “one”.) Force output to be one entry per
line. This is the default when output is not to a terminal.
- Display in EUC (Extended Unix Code) Kanji code; this is the default.
- Display in JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) Kanji code.
- Display in Shift-JIS (MS Kanji code) Kanji code.
- Print without decode its CAP encoded filename.
-l options all
override each other; the last one specified determines the format used.
options override each other; the last one specified determines the file time
-q options all
override each other; the last one specified determines the format used for
-P options all override each other (either partially
or fully); they are applied in the order specified.
jls lists one entry per line
to standard output; the exceptions are to terminals or when the
-x options are
File information is displayed with one or more
⟨blank⟩s separating the information associated with the
-l option is given, the following information is
displayed for each file: file mode, number of links, owner name, group name,
number of bytes in the file, abbreviated month, day-of-month file was last
modified, hour file last modified, minute file last modified, and the
pathname. In addition, for each directory whose contents are displayed, the
total number of 512-byte blocks used by the files in the directory is
displayed on a line by itself immediately before the information for the files
in the directory.
If the modification time of the file is more than 6 months in the
past or future, then the year of the last modification is displayed in place
of the hour and minute fields.
If the owner or group names are not a known user or group name, or
-n option is given, the numeric ID's are
If the file is a character special or block special file, the
major and minor device numbers for the file are displayed in the size field.
If the file is a symbolic link the pathname of the linked-to file is
preceded by “
The file mode printed under the
consists of the entry type and the permissions. The entry type character
describes the type of file, as follows:
- Block special file.
- Character special file.
- Symbolic link.
- Socket link.
- Regular file.
The next three fields are three characters each: owner
permissions, group permissions, and other permissions. Each field has three
The following is how to do an
- If r, the file is readable; if -, it
is not readable.
- If w, the file is writable; if -, it
is not writable.
- The first of the following that applies:
- If in the owner permissions, the file is not executable and
set-user-ID mode is set. If in the group permissions, the file is not
executable and set-group-ID mode is set.
- If in the owner permissions, the file is executable and set-user-ID
mode is set. If in the group permissions, the file is executable and
setgroup-ID mode is set.
- The file is executable or the directory is searchable.
- The file is neither readable, writable, executable, nor set-user-ID
nor set-group-ID mode, nor sticky. (See below.)
These next two apply only to the third character in the last
group (other permissions).
- The sticky bit is set (mode
1000), but not
execute or search permission. (See
- The sticky bit is set (mode
1000), and is
searchable or executable. (See
jls listing sorted by size
(and shows why
jls does not need a separate option for
ls -l | sort -n +4
-r flag to
may be used to get the results sorted from largest to smallest (a reverse
jls utility exits 0 on success,
and >0 if an error occurs.
The following environment variables affect the execution of
The group field is now automatically included in the long listing for files in
order to be compatible with the IEEE Std 1003.2
With the exception of options
- If the environment variable
BLOCKSIZE is set, the
block counts (see
-s) will be displayed in units
of that size block.
- Use ANSI color sequences to distinguish file types. See
LSCOLORS below. In addition to the file types
mentioned in the
-F option some extra attributes
(setuid bit set, etc.) are also displayed. The colorization is dependent
on a terminal type with the proper
capabilities. The default “
console has the proper capabilities, but to display the colors in an
for example, the
TERM variable must be set to
xterm-color”. Other terminal types
may require similar adjustments. Colorization is silently disabled if the
output isn't directed to a terminal unless the
CLICOLOR_FORCE variable is defined.
- Color sequences are normally disabled if the output isn't directed to a
terminal. This can be overridden by setting this flag. The
TERM variable still needs to reference a color
capable terminal however otherwise it is not possible to determine which
color sequences to use.
- If this variable contains a string representing a decimal integer, it is
used as the column position width for displaying multiple-text-column
jls utility calculates how many
pathname text columns to display based on the width provided. (See
- The locale to use when determining the order of day and month in the long
-l format output. See
for more information.
- The value of this variable describes what color to use for which attribute
when colors are enabled with
CLICOLOR. This string
is a concatenation of pairs of the format
f is the foreground color and
b is the background color.
The color designators are as follows:
- light grey
- bold black, usually shows up as dark grey
- bold red
- bold green
- bold brown, usually shows up as yellow
- bold blue
- bold magenta
- bold cyan
- bold light grey; looks like bright white
- default foreground or background
Note that the above are standard ANSI colors. The actual
display may differ depending on the color capabilities of the terminal
The order of the attributes are as follows:
- symbolic link
- block special
- character special
- executable with setuid bit set
- executable with setgid bit set
- directory writable to others, with sticky bit
- directory writable to others, without sticky bit
The default is “exfxcxdxbxegedabagacad”, i.e.
blue foreground and default background for regular directories, black
foreground and red background for setuid executables, etc.
- If this variable is set, it is considered to be a colon-delimited list of
minimum column widths. Unreasonable and insufficient widths are ignored
(thus zero signifies a dynamically sized column). Not all columns have
changeable widths. The fields are, in order: inode, block count, number of
links, user name, group name, flags, file size, file name.
CLICOLOR functionality depends on a terminal
type with color capabilities.
- The timezone to use when displaying dates. See
for more information.
jls utility conforms to IEEE Std
jls command appeared in
Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
To maintain backward compatibility, the relationships between the many options
are quite complex.
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