list directory contents
For each operand that names a file of a type
other than directory,
ls displays its name as well
as any requested, associated information. For each named directory,
ls 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. By default,
one entry per line to standard output; the exceptions are to terminals or
-x options are specified.
The options are as follows:
- (The numeric digit “one”.) Force output to be one entry per line. This is the default when output is not to a terminal.
- List all entries except for ‘.’ and ‘..’. Always set for the superuser.
- Include directory entries whose names begin with a dot (‘.’).
- Force multi-column output; this is the default when output is to a terminal.
- Use time file's status was last changed instead of last modification time
for sorting (
-t) or printing (
- Directories are listed as plain files (not searched recursively) and symbolic links in the argument list are not indirected through.
- Display a slash (‘/’) immediately after each pathname that is a directory, an asterisk (‘*’) after each that is executable, an at sign (‘@’) after each symbolic link, an equal sign (‘=’) after each socket, and a vertical bar (‘|’) after each that is a FIFO.
- Output is not sorted.
- List in long format as in
-l, except that the owner is not printed.
- Follow symbolic links specified on the command line. This is the default
behaviour when none of the
-loptions are specified.
- When used with a long format option, use unit suffixes: Byte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte, Petabyte, and Exabyte in order to reduce the number of digits to four or fewer using powers of 2 for sizes (K=1024, M=1048576, etc.).
- For each file, print its inode number.
- Modifies the
-soption, causing the sizes to be reported in kilobytes. Overrides any value specified by the
- If argument is a symbolic link, evaluate the file information and file
type to be those of the file referenced by the link, and not the link
lswrites the name of the link itself and not the file referenced by the link.
- (The lowercase letter “ell”.) List in long format (see below). A total sum of all file sizes is output on a line before the long listing. Output is one entry per line.
- Stream output format; list files across the page, separated by commas.
- List in long format as in
-l, but retain user and group IDs in a numeric format. The output of
-ngis identical: a long listing with numerical group ID, and no numerical user ID. The output of
-nlis identical: a long listing with numerical group and user ID.
- Include the file flags in a long format (
- Display a slash (‘/’) immediately after each pathname that 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.
- Recursively list subdirectories encountered.
- Reverse the order of the sort to get reverse lexicographical order or the smallest or oldest entries first.
- Sort by size, largest file first.
- Display the number of file system blocks actually used by each file, where
partial units are rounded up to the next integer value. Blocks are 512
bytes unless overridden by the
- Display complete time information for the file, including month, day,
hour, minute, second, and year. This option has no effect unless one of
the long format (
-n) options is also specified.
- Sort by time modified (most recently modified first) before sorting the operands in lexicographical order.
- Use file's last access time instead of last modification time for sorting
-t) or printing (
- Multi-column output sorted across the page rather than down the page.
It is not an error to specify more than one of the following
mutually exclusive options:
-u. Where more than one option is specified from the
same mutually exclusive group, the last option given overrides the others,
-l always overrides
-f always overrides
The Long Format
-n options are given, the following information is
displayed for each file: mode, number of links, owner (though not for
-g), group, size in bytes, time of last modification
(“mmm dd HH:MM”), and the pathname. In addition, for each
directory whose contents are displayed, the first line displayed is the
total number of blocks used by the files in the directory. Blocks are 512
bytes unless overridden by the
-k option or
BLOCKSIZE environment variable.
If the owner or group name is not a known user or group name,
respectively, or the
-n option is given, the numeric
ID is displayed.
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.
-T option is given, the time of
last modification is displayed using the format “mmm dd HH:MM:SS
If the file is a symbolic link, the pathname of the linked-to file is preceded by “->”.
The file mode printed under the
-n options consists
of the entry type, owner permissions, group permissions, and other
permissions. The entry type character describes the type of file, as
The next three fields are three characters each: owner permissions, group permissions, and other permissions. Each field has three character positions:
- 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, nor sticky (see below).
These next two apply only to the third character in the last group (other permissions):
In addition, if the
-o option is
specified, the file flags (see
chflags(1)) are displayed as comma-separated strings in front of the
file size, abbreviated as follows:
- no flags
- do not dump
- system append-only
- system immutable
- user append-only
- user immutable
- If the environment variable
BLOCKSIZEis set, and the
-koption is not specified, the block counts (see
-s) will be displayed in units of that size block.
- If this variable contains a string representing a decimal integer, it is used as the column position width for displaying multiple-text-column output.
- The time zone to use when displaying dates. See environ(7) for more information.
ls utility exits 0 on success,
and >0 if an error occurs.
List the contents of the current working directory in long format:
$ ls -l
In addition to listing the contents of the current working directory in long format, show inode numbers, file flags (see chflags(1)), and suffix each filename with a symbol representing its file type:
$ ls -lioF
List the files in /var/log, sorting the output such that the mostly recently modified entries are printed first:
$ ls -lt /var/log
chflags(1), chmod(1), symlink(7), sticky(8)
ls utility is compliant with the
IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”)
The flags [
-hT] are extensions to that
-g flag was used to
specify that the group field be included in long listings. The group field
is now automatically included in the long listing for files and the meaning
-g flag has been changed in order to be
compatible with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008
Behaviour for the
-o flags differs between this implementation and
IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”).
ls utility appeared in
Version 3 AT&T UNIX.