Customizing the ls Command: File and Directory Listings with Options

The Basics of the l linux Command

The l linux command is an essential tool for working with files and directories in the Linux operating system. It is part of the GNU core utilities and has many options.

For example, if you use the -l option, it displays entries in long listing format and shows file permissions, size, owners, and modification time in reverse order. It also shows hidden files.

What is ls?

In Linux, the ls command displays a list of files on your system. It can be used with various options to customize the output.

The -R option will display subdirectories recursively. The -h flag shows file size in human-readable format (Kilobytes, Megabytes, and so on). The -F flag adds a forward slash to directories to distinguish them from files. It also allows you to sort the directory contents by other values besides file names.

How to use ls?

The ls command lists the contents of a directory. It can display information such as file size, modified date and time, owner, permission, and links.

ls can be used with many flags to modify its behavior. Some of these include sorting alphabetically or by extension. Others sort by modification time or size.

Learn more about ls and how to use it. Atatus is a full-stack observability platform that lets you review problems as they happen.

ls -l

Displays file and directory contents. This includes information such as the mode, number of links, owner name, group, size (in bytes), and last modified date. This option also follows symbolic links.

ls -lh displays file sizes in human readable format such as MB, GB, and Tb. It is helpful if you have a lot of files and want to see the size in a meaningful way.

ls -g

List information about all files and directories, including hidden ones. Displays a file’s inode number (on POSIX-compliant and UNIX systems).

Display human-readable file size information. Also puts a / after each directory name, a * after executable files, a | after FIFO and socket files, and an @ for symbolic links.

Sorts the files and directories by modification time. This can be useful for quickly finding a newer file in a directory.

ls -o

The ls command can display a variety of file information. This includes the kind of file (- for a regular file, d for a directory, and l for a symbolic link), file permissions, links to the file, and its size in bytes.

By default, the ls command will list files and directories in your current working directory. You can use the -a option to show hidden files and directories.

ls -t

The ls -t option lets you sort files/directories list by time/date. This is useful if you have large files and want to see which ones were recently modified.

The -h flag makes the output human readable, displaying file sizes in kilobytes (K), megabytes (M) and gigabytes (G). This makes it easier to understand the size of your files. It also shows the number of hard links to a file.

ls -u

The -U option forces ls to display files in the order that the filesystem stores them internally. This can be different from the order that is displayed when sorted by name.

The ls command can be confusing, but once you know how to use it, it is very helpful. It is especially useful for listing the contents of a directory, including subdirectories.

ls -v

If you add the -v flag to the ls command, it will display files and directories in long list format. It will also display file size in kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes.

You can also use the -S flag to sort the listing by file size, and the -t flag to show recently modified files first. This will make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

ls -r

There are a number of different options you can use to modify the output of the ls command. For example, you can display file sizes in human-readable format by using the -h option.

You can also list hidden files by adding the -a option to ls. Hidden files are those that start with a dot (.). The next three characters show the permission of the owner, group, and others.

ls -s

The ls command prints the information about files and directories present inside your computer’s directory hierarchy. It also provides many options that you can use to customize its output.

-F appends a / character to directory names and a * to executable files. -h, –human-readable, print sizes in human readable format (powers of 1024). -t, sort the list alphabetically. -u, sort by modification time.

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