Key Linux Commands for Managing Files and Directories

Linux Commands – List Directory

Linux has a large number of commands that can be used to manage files and directories. In this article we will explore the most important ones, starting with ls.

This command lists the contents of the present working directory. It comes with a large number of options that can be used to customize the output. For example, to display file sizes in a human readable format add the -s option.


The ls (list directory) command is a powerful tool for viewing files and directories in your file system. It provides valuable information about the files and their attributes, including their sizes, permissions, owner, and last modification date. You can use the ls command in combination with other commands to display specific file information or to sort and filter files and directories. For example, you can use ls with the pwd command to display the current working directory of your system or with the cd command to change to a different directory.

The most common use of the ls command is to display the contents of a directory. This includes the list of all non-hidden files in that directory, as well as all subdirectories. However, you can also use the -a option to include hidden files in the list of files. These are files that begin with a dot, and you can usually tell them apart from other files by the fact that they don’t end in a period.

You can also use ls to sort files and directories by their size or modification date. For example, you can use ls -t to sort files by their last modification time in descending order. You can also use ls -S to sort files by their size, showing the largest files first. You can even combine ls -t with -r to reverse the default ordering of the listing.

The ls command is very flexible and can be used with other commands to display different types of file information. It is able to sort and filter files and directories by size, name, type, and even extension. This information can then be used for further processing or manipulation. In addition to the -l, -h, and -lS options, ls can also be used with other utilities such as less and grep to display multiple files at once or to search for particular file information.


The pwd command displays the directory that your terminal is currently using. It’s helpful to know this information before changing files or moving into another directory, as it can help you avoid overwriting important files. This command is very useful and easy to use in Linux, especially if you don’t have a graphical interface.

pwd stands for “print working directory”. The command uses the file system to print the path to your current location, including directories and files. If you do not include any options, pwd will print the absolute path of your current directory. If you are navigating through the directory tree via a symbolic link, pwd will display the name of the link rather than the destination of the symlink.

You can also add the -a option to pwd, which shows hidden files. This is particularly helpful when you are trying to find a specific type of file, such as an executable. In addition, most Linux distributions have the pwd command preconfigured to show files and directories in different colors.

In some cases, you may want to see the full path to a file or directory. In this case, you can use the find command with a recursive option. This will search through all of the subdirectories in the directory that you’re currently in, allowing you to see exactly what is contained within the directory.

If you don’t want to navigate through the entire directory tree, you can use the cd command instead. This will open the current directory, which is your home directory by default. It’s also possible to use ls -a with a recursive option, which will list all of the files and subdirectories in the directory that you are currently in. This will allow you to see the entire structure of the directory, including any hidden folders.

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