LS(1) General Commands Manual LS(1)
ls - list directory contents
ls [-1AaCcdFfgHhikLlmnopqRrSsTtux] [file ...]
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, ls lists one entry
per line to standard output; the exceptions are to terminals or when the
-C, -m, or -x options are specified.
The options are as follows:
-1 (The numeric digit "one".) Force output to be one entry per line.
This is the default when output is not to a terminal.
-A List all entries except for `.' and `..'. Always set for the
-a Include directory entries whose names begin with a dot (`.').
-C Force multi-column output; this is the default when output is to
-c Use time file's status was last changed instead of last
modification time for sorting (-t) or printing (-g, -l, or -n).
-d Directories are listed as plain files (not searched recursively)
and symbolic links in the argument list are not indirected
-F 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.
-f Output is not sorted. This option implies -a.
-g List in long format as in -l, except that the owner is not
-H Follow symbolic links specified on the command line. This is the
default behaviour when none of the -d, -F, or -l options are
-h 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.).
-i For each file, print its inode number.
-k Modifies the -s option, causing the sizes to be reported in
kilobytes. Overrides any value specified by the BLOCKSIZE
-L 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 itself; however, ls writes the name of the link itself
and not the file referenced by the link.
-l (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.
-m Stream output format; list files across the page, separated by
-n List in long format as in -l, but retain user and group IDs in a
numeric format. The output of -gn and -ng is identical: a long
listing with numerical group ID, and no numerical user ID. The
output of -ln and -nl is identical: a long listing with numerical
group and user ID.
-o Include the file flags in a long format (-g, -l, or -n) output.
-p Display a slash (`/') immediately after each pathname that is a
-q Force printing of non-graphic characters in file names as the
character `?'; this is the default when output is to a terminal.
-R Recursively list subdirectories encountered.
-r Reverse the order of the sort to get reverse lexicographical
order or the smallest or oldest entries first.
-S Sort by size, largest file first.
-s 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 -k flag or
BLOCKSIZE environment variable.
-T 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 (-g, -l, or -n) options is also
-t Sort by time modified (most recently modified first) before
sorting the operands in lexicographical order.
-u Use file's last access time instead of last modification time for
sorting (-t) or printing (-g, -l, or -n).
-x Multi-column output sorted across the page rather than down the
It is not an error to specify more than one of the following mutually
exclusive options: -1, -C, -g, -l, -m, -n, and -x; and -c, -f, -S, -t,
and -u. Where more than one option is specified from the same mutually
exclusive group, the last option given overrides the others, except that
-l always overrides -g; and -f always overrides -c, -S, -t, and -u.
The Long Format
If the -g, -l, or -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.
If the -T option is given, the time of last modification is displayed
using the format "mmm dd HH:MM:SS ccyy".
If the file is a symbolic link, the pathname of the linked-to file is
preceded by "->".
The file mode printed under the -g, -l, or -n options consists of the
entry type, owner permissions, group permissions, and other permissions.
The entry type character describes the type of file, as follows:
- regular file
b block special file
c character special file
l symbolic link
s socket link
The next three fields are three characters each: owner permissions, group
permissions, and other permissions. Each field has three character
1. If r, the file is readable; if -, it is not readable.
2. If w, the file is writable; if -, it is not writable.
3. The first of the following that applies:
S 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.
s 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 set-
group-ID mode is set.
x The file is executable or the directory is
- 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):
T The sticky bit is set (mode 1000), but neither
executable nor searchable (see chmod(1) or
t The sticky bit is set (mode 1000), and is
searchable or executable (see chmod(1) or
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
nodump do not dump
sappnd system append-only
schg system immutable
uappnd user append-only
uchg user immutable
BLOCKSIZE If the environment variable BLOCKSIZE is set, and the -k
option is not specified, the block counts (see -s) will be
displayed in units of that size block.
COLUMNS If set to a positive integer, output is formatted to the given
width in columns. Otherwise, ls defaults to the terminal
width, or 80 columns if the output is not a terminal.
LC_CTYPE The character encoding locale(1). It decides which byte
sequences form characters and what their display width is. If
unset or set to "C", "POSIX", or an unsupported value, non-
ASCII bytes are replaced by question marks.
TZ The time zone to use when displaying dates. See environ(7)
for more information.
The 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 most
recently modified entries are printed first:
$ ls -lt /var/log
chflags(1), chmod(1), symlink(7), sticky(8)
The ls utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX.1")
specification, except behaviour for the -o flag differs.
The flags [-hT], as well as the BLOCKSIZE environment variable, are
extensions to that specification.
The flags [-go] are marked by IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX.1") as being
an X/Open System Interfaces option.
Historically, the -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 of the -g flag has been
changed in order to be compatible with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008
An ls utility appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
OpenBSD 6.4 October 24, 2016 OpenBSD 6.4
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