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ls - Lists and generates statistics for files
ls [-aAbcCdDfFgilLmnopqrRstux1] [file... | directory...]
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about
industry standards and associated tags.
-a Lists all entries in the directory, including the entries that begin
with a . (dot). Entries that begin with a . are not displayed unless
you refer to them specifically, or you specify the -a option.
-A [Tru64 UNIX] Lists all entries, except . (dot) and .. (dot-dot). If
you issue the ls command as the superuser, it behaves as if you
specified this option.
-b [Tru64 UNIX] Displays nonprintable characters in octal notation.
-c Uses the time of last inode modification (file created, mode changed,
and so on) for sorting when used with the -t option. Displays the time
of last inode modification (instead of the time at which the file's
contents were last modified) when used with the -l option. This option
has effect only when used with either -t or -l or both.
-C Sorts output vertically in a multicolumn format. This is the default
when output is to a terminal.
-d Displays only the information for the directory that is named, rather
than for its contents. This is useful with the -l option to get the
status of a directory.
-D If the file is a special file, and the machine is cluster aware, the
size field contains the major and minor device numbers assigned on the
-f Lists the name in each slot for each named directory. This option turns
off -l, -t, -s, and -r, and turns on -a; this option uses the order in
which entries appear in the directory.
-F Puts a / (slash) after each file name if the file is a directory, an *
(asterisk) after each file name if the file can be executed, an =
(equal sign) after each file name if the file is a socket, an @ (at
sign) for a symbolic link, and a | (vertical bar) for a FIFO.
-g Displays the same information as -l, except for the owner.
-i Displays the file serial number in the first column of the report for
-l Displays the mode, number of links, owner, group, size (in bytes), and
time of last modification for each file, and pathname.
[Tru64 UNIX] If the file is a symbolic link, the pathname of the
linked-to file is also preceded by ->. The attributes of the symbolic
link are displayed. The -n option overrides the -l option.
[Tru64 UNIX] If CMD_ENV=svr4, the ls command reports an l in the group
execution field when mandatory locking is enabled.
-L [Tru64 UNIX] Lists the file or directory link references rather than
the link itself, if the argument is a symbolic link.
-m Uses stream output format (a comma-separated series).
-n Displays the same information as -l, except that it displays the user
and the group IDs instead of the user names and group names.
-o Displays the same information as with -l, except for the group. The -n
option overrides the -o option.
-p Puts a slash after each file name if that file is a directory.
-q Displays nonprintable characters in file names as a ? (question mark)
character, if output is to a terminal (default).
-r Reverses the order of the sort, giving reverse collation or the oldest
first, as appropriate.
-R Lists all subdirectories recursively.
-s Gives space used in n 1024-byte units (including indirect blocks) for
[Tru64 UNIX] When run on an AdvFS clone file set, the ls -s command
displays the space used by the files in the original file set at the
time the clone file set was created. The file sizes are displayed in
-t Sorts by time of last modification (latest first) instead of by name.
-u Uses the time of the last access instead of time of the last
modification for sorting (when used with -t) or for displaying (when
used with -l). This option has no effect when not used with either -t
or -l or both.
-x Sorts output horizontally in a multicolumn format.
-1 Forces one entry per line output format; this is the default when
output is not directed to a terminal.
When you specify the following mutually exclusive options, the last option
on the command line takes effect:
· [Tru64 UNIX] -C and -l (ell)
· [Tru64 UNIX] -C and -1 (one)
· [Tru64 UNIX] -m and -l (ell)
· [Tru64 UNIX] -x and -l (ell)
· [Tru64 UNIX] -c and -u
file | directory
The path name of a file or directory about which information is to be
output. If this operand is omitted, the current directory is used.
The ls command writes to standard output the contents of each specified
directory or the name of each specified file, along with any other
information you ask for with options. If you do not specify a file or a
directory, ls displays the contents of the current directory.
By default, ls displays all information in collated order by file name.
The collating sequence is determined by the LC_COLLATE environment
[Tru64 UNIX] There are three main ways to format the output:
· [Tru64 UNIX] List entries in multiple columns by specifying either
the -C or -x options. When output is to a terminal, -C is the default
· List one entry per line.
· List entries in a comma-separated series by specifying the -m option.
[Tru64 UNIX] The ls command uses ioctl() to determine the number of byte
positions in the output line. If ls cannot get this information, it uses a
default value of 80. Columns may not be smaller than 20 bytes or larger
than 400 bytes.
The mode displayed with the -l option is interpreted by the first
character, as follows:
b Block special file
c Character special file
l [Tru64 UNIX] Symbolic link
p First-In-First-Out (FIFO) special file
s [Tru64 UNIX] Local socket
- Ordinary file
The next nine characters are divided into three sets of three characters
each. The first three characters show the owner's permission. The next
set of three characters show the permission of the other users in the
group. The last set of three characters show the permission of everyone
else. The three characters in each set show read, write and execute
permission of the file. Execute permission of a directory lets you search
a directory for a specified file.
Permissions are indicated as follows:
x execute or search (directories)
- no access
The group-execute permission character is s if the file has set-group-ID
mode. The user-execute permission character is s if the file has set-user-
ID mode. The last character of the mode (normally x or -) is t if the 01000
(octal) bit of the mode is set; see the chmod command for the meaning of
this mode. The indications of set-ID and the 01000 bit of the mode are
capitalized (S and T, respectively) if the corresponding execute permission
is not set.
When there is an access control list (ACL) on the listed directory or file
the group permissions displayed by the ls command are the maximum
permissions allowed for the owning group and for any user or group
identified in a qualified "user" or "group" ACL entry. A given user or
member of a group can have more restrictive permissions. Use the getacl
command to see the ACL for a given file or directory.
When the sizes of the files in a directory are listed, the ls command
displays a total count in 1024-byte units, including indirect blocks.
The LC_TIME environment variable controls the format of the date and time.
System V Compatibility
[Tru64 UNIX] The root of the directory tree that contains the commands
modified for SVID 2 compliance is specified in the file /etc/svid2_path.
You can use /etc/svid2_profile as the basis for, or to include in, your
.profile. The file /etc/svid2_profile reads /etc/svid2_path and sets the
first entries in the PATH environment variable so that the modified SVID 2
commands are found first.
[Tru64 UNIX] The SVID 2 compliant version of the ls command produces
multicolumn output only if the -C option is specified. In addition, the -s
option of the SVID 2 compliant command causes file sizes to be reported in
512-byte units rather than in 1024-byte units.
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
>0 An error occurred.
[Tru64 UNIX] Sparse files, such as quota files, may not be using as much
on-disk storage as the ls -l command reports. Use the ls -s command to
obtain an accurate report of the on-disk storage used by a sparse file.
1. The following example lists the quota.user file, a sparse file, two
different ways. The example shows that although the last byte in the
file is at logical offset 2097151, the file uses only 24 blocks of
# ls -l quota.user
-rw-r----- 1 root operator 2097152 Apr 29 14:54 quota.user
# ls -s quota.user
2. To list all files in the current directory, enter:
This lists all files, including . (dot), .. (dot-dot), and other files
with names beginning with a dot.
3. To display detailed information, enter:
ls -l chap1 .profile
This displays a long listing with detailed information about the files
chap1 and .profile.
4. To display detailed information about a directory, enter:
ls -d -l . manual manual/chap1
This displays a long listing for the directories . and manual, and for
the file manual/chap1. Without the -d option, this command lists the
files in . and manual instead of providing detailed information about
the directories themselves.
5. To list the files in the current directory in order of modification
ls -l -t
This displays a long listing of the files that were modified most
recently, followed by the older files.
The following environment variables affect the execution of ls:
Determines the user's preferred column position width for writing
multiple text-column output. If this variable contains a string
representing a decimal integer, the ls utility calculates how many
pathname text columns to write (see -C) based on the width provided. If
COLUMNS is not set or invalid, an implementation-dependent number of
column positions is assumed, based on the implementation's knowledge of
the output device. The column width chosen to write the names of files
in any given directory will be constant. Filenames will not be
truncated to fit into the multiple text-column output.
Provides a default value for the internationalization variables that
are unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the corresponding value
from the default locale is used. If any of the internationalization
variables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of
the variables had been defined.
If set to a non-empty string value, overrides the values of all the
other internationalization variables.
Determines the locale for character collation information in
determining the pathname collation sequence.
Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of
text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to
multibyte characters in arguments).
Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic
messages written to standard error.
Determines the format and contents for the date and time strings
written by ls.
Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing of
TZ Determines the timezone for date and time strings written by ls.
Contains user information.
Contains group information.
Commands: chmod(1), du(1), find(1), ln(1), stty(1)
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