ls command in Linux/Unix

ls is a Linux shell command that lists directory contents of files and directories.

ls syntax

$ ls [options] [file|dir]

ls command options

ls command main options:

option description
ls -a list all files including hidden file starting with '.'
ls --color colored list [=always/never/auto]
ls -d list directories - with ' */'
ls -F add one char of */=>@| to enteries
ls -i list file's inode index number
ls -l list with long format - show permissions
ls -la list long format including hidden files
ls -lh list long format with readable file size
ls -ls list with long format with file size
ls -r list in reverse order
ls -R list recursively directory tree
ls -s list file size
ls -S sort by file size
ls -t sort by time & date
ls -X sort by extension name

ls command examples

You can press the tab button to auto complete the file or folder names.

List directory Documents/Books with relative path:

$ ls Documents/Books


List directory /home/user/Documents/Books with absolute path.

$ ls /home/user/Documents/Books


List root directory:

$ ls /


List parent directory:

$ ls ..


List user's home directory (e.g: /home/user):

$ ls ~


List with long format:

$ ls -l


Show hidden files:

$ ls -a


List with long format and show hidden files:

$ ls -la


Sort by date/time:

$ ls -t


Sort by file size:

$ ls -S


List all subdirectories:

$ ls *


Recursive directory tree list:

$ ls -R


List only text files with wildcard:

$ ls *.txt


ls redirection to output file:

$ ls > out.txt


List directories only:

$ ls -d */


List files and directories with full path:

$ ls -d $PWD/*

ls code generator

Select ls options and press the Generate Code button:

  Long list format (-l)
  List all files / hidden files (-a)
  Recursively list directory tree (-R)
  List in reverse order (-r)
  List with full path (-d $PWD/*)
Sort by:
Files / folders
Output redirection

Click on textbox to select code, then copy and paste it into terminal


See also

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