ls command examples, Introduction to ls command in Linux, How to: Use ls in Linux

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ls is a command used to list files and folders within a directory or folder

1 ls command

ls
ls
ls

2 Use long listing format

ls -l

-l: Long listing format

ls with long listing format
ls with long listing format

Column 1: drwxr-xr-x:

The first d means it’s directory if it’s – rather than d means it’s file, if it’s not d or – but l means it’s symbolic link.

Following 9 characters represents the file permission. First 3 rwx represents the file owner’s permission, Second 3 rwx represents the group’s file permission, Third 3 rwx represents others’ file permission

Column 2: 26: How many symbolic link points to this file

Column 3: abc: File/Directory owner

Column 4: abc: File/Directory group

Column 5: 4096: File/Directory size in bytes. For directories, it will always show 4096 bytes

Column 6: Mar 2 22:50: Last time the file was modified

Column 7: annaconda3: File/Directory name

For more information on permission/ Privilege, refer to: Unix/Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Kali Linux etc.) Privilege Management

3 Show file size

ls -hl
 
or
 
ls -lsi

-h: human readable units (1024)

-si: human readable units (1000)

ls - hl
ls – hl
ls -lsi
ls -lsi

4 Sort the results by size

ls -hlS

-S: sort by file size, largest first

ls -hlS
ls -hlS

5 Specify units

ls -l --block-size=G
K = Kilobyte
M = Megabyte
G = Gigabyte
T = Terabyte
P = Petabyte
E = Exabyte
Z = Zettabyte
Y = Yottabyte
ls -l --block-size=G
ls -l –block-size=G

6 Show hidden files

In Linux, files begin with “.” are hidden. we can use -a switch with ls to show them

ls -a
ls -a
ls -a

7 Only list directories

ls -d */
Only list directories
Only list directories

8 Do not list owner

ls -g
Do not list owner
Do not list owner

9 Do not list group names in a long listing

ls -lG
Do not list group names in a long listing
Do not list group names in a long listing

10 Show UID and GID

ls -n
Show UID and GID
Show UID and GID

11 Print without colour

ls --color=never
Print without colour
Print without colour

12 Show index number of each file (inode)

ls -li
Show index number of each file (inode)
Show index number of each file (inode)

13 Append / indicator to directories

ls -p
Append / indicator to directories
Append / indicator to directories

14 Reverse sorting results

ls -r
Reverse sorting results
Reverse sorting results

15 List subdirectories recursively

ls -R
List subdirectories recursively
List subdirectories recursively

16 Sort alphabetically by entry extension

ls -lX
Sort alphabetically by entry extension method 1
Sort alphabetically by entry extension method 1

OR

ls -sort=extension
Sort alphabetically by entry extension method 2
Sort alphabetically by entry extension method 2

17 Sort by modification time (Latest at the top)

ls -lt
Sort by modification time (Latest at the top)
Sort by modification time (Latest at the top)

18 List folders/files for home directory

ls ~
List folders/files for home directory
List folders/files for home directory

19 List folders/files for parent directory

ls ../
List folders/files for parent directory
List folders/files for parent directory

List directory/files for parent of parent directory

ls ../../
List directory/files for parent of parent directory
List directory/files for parent of parent directory

20 Show ls version information

ls -version
Show ls version information
Show ls version information

Help page of ls

Usage: 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 ..
      --author               with -l, print the author of each file
  -b, --escape               print C-style escapes for nongraphic characters
      --block-size=SIZE      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 ~
  -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
      --color[=WHEN]         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
      --file-type            likewise, except do not append '*'
      --format=WORD          across -x, commas -m, horizontal -x, long -l,
                               single-column -1, verbose -l, vertical -C
      --full-time            like -l --time-style=full-iso
  -g                         like -l, but do not list owner
      --group-directories-first
                             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.
      --si                   likewise, but use powers of 1000 not 1024
  -H, --dereference-command-line
                             follow symbolic links listed on the command line
      --dereference-command-line-symlink-to-dir
                             follow each command line symbolic link
                               that points to a directory
      --hide=PATTERN         do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN
                               (overridden by -a or -A)
      --hyperlink[=WHEN]     hyperlink file names; WHEN can be 'always'
                               (default if omitted), 'auto', or 'never'
      --indicator-style=WORD  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;
                               used only with -s and per directory totals
  -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 entry names without quoting
  -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-control-chars   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
      --quoting-style=WORD   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
  -S                         sort by file size, largest first
      --sort=WORD            sort by WORD instead of name: none (-U), size (-S),
                               time (-t), version (-v), extension (-X)
      --time=WORD            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)
      --time-style=TIME_STYLE  time/date format with -l; see TIME_STYLE below
  -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
      --version  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).
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:
 0  if OK,
 1  if minor problems (e.g., cannot access subdirectory),
 2  if serious trouble (e.g., cannot access command-line argument).
GNU coreutils online help: <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
Full documentation at: <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/ls>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) ls invocation'

Man page of ls

LS(1)                                    User Commands                                   LS(1)
NAME
       ls - list directory contents
SYNOPSIS
       ls [OPTION]... [FILE]...
DESCRIPTION
       List  information about the FILEs (the current directory by default).  Sort entries al‐
       phabetically 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 ..
       --author
              with -l, print the author of each file
       -b, --escape
              print C-style escapes for nongraphic characters
       --block-size=SIZE
              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 ~
       -c     with -lt: sort by, and show, ctime (time of last modification of file status in‐
              formation); with -l: show ctime and sort by name; otherwise: sort by ctime, new‐
              est first
       -C     list entries by columns
       --color[=WHEN]
              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
       --file-type
              likewise, except do not append '*'
       --format=WORD
              across -x, commas -m, horizontal -x, long -l, single-column -1, verbose -l, ver‐
              tical -C
       --full-time
              like -l --time-style=full-iso
       -g     like -l, but do not list owner
       --group-directories-first
              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.
       --si   likewise, but use powers of 1000 not 1024
       -H, --dereference-command-line
              follow symbolic links listed on the command line
       --dereference-command-line-symlink-to-dir
              follow each command line symbolic link
              that points to a directory
       --hide=PATTERN
              do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN (overridden by -a or -A)
       --hyperlink[=WHEN]
              hyperlink file names; WHEN can be 'always'  (default  if  omitted),  'auto',  or
              'never'
       --indicator-style=WORD
              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; used only with -s and per  directory
              totals
       -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 entry names without quoting
       -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-control-chars
              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
       --quoting-style=WORD
              use  quoting  style  WORD for entry names: literal, locale, shell, shell-always,
              shell-escape, shell-escape-always, c, escape (overrides  QUOTING_STYLE  environ‐
              ment variable)
       -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=WORD
              sort by WORD instead of name: none (-U), size (-S), time (-t), version (-v), ex‐
              tension (-X)
       --time=WORD
              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)
       --time-style=TIME_STYLE
              time/date format with -l; see TIME_STYLE below
       -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
       --version
              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).
       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 ap‐
       plies 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:
       0      if OK,
       1      if minor problems (e.g., cannot access subdirectory),
       2      if serious trouble (e.g., cannot access command-line argument).
AUTHOR
       Written by Richard M. Stallman and David MacKenzie.
REPORTING BUGS
       GNU coreutils online help: <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
       Report ls translation bugs to <https://translationproject.org/team/>
COPYRIGHT
       Copyright  ©  2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.  License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or
       later <https://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
       This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.  There  is  NO  WAR‐
       RANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
SEE ALSO
       Full documentation at: <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/ls>
       or available locally via: info '(coreutils) ls invocation'
GNU coreutils 8.30                        August 2019                                    LS(1)

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