Linux ls Options

linux-ls-command-options-ipcisco.com

Linux File Listing: ls Options

In Linux Course and in real life works, we will work on files too much. So, we will use linux ls command very often. So, why we use linux ls command? What are Linux ls options? In this lesson, we will learn Linux ls options one by one.

 

Firstly, let’s answer the first question, why we use Linux ls command. We use ls command in Linux to list files. With different options, we can do this listing in different variations. In this lesson, we will talk about these options. In another lesson, we have talked about user listing in Linux . You can also check it.

 

You can use ls command without any parameter. When you use ls option without any parameter, you can list the files within the current directory. For example, if you are under root directory (/) and you use Linux ls command without any option, then you can list the files under root directory (/).

 

root@kali:/home/kali# ls

abc  abc1  abc2  Desktop  Documents  Downloads  EmptyXYZ  hello.txt  Music  MyFolder  Pictures  ppp2.php  ppp.php  Public  Templates  Videos

 


For more Linux Command, you can check also Linux Cheat Sheet!


 

Linux File Listing Detailly

To list the files under the current directory detailly, we use linux ls -l option. With linux ls -l option, all the files under the current directory are listed with their details. So, what are these file details. These are:

  • Type: File or Directory
  • Owner, Group, Everyone permissions
  • Creator User
  • Size
  • Create Date
  • File Name

 

root@kali:/home/kali# ls -l

total 44

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    7 Jun 11  2021 abc

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc1

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc2

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Aug 11 04:40 Desktop

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Documents

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Downloads

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 EmptyXYZ

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Dec 20  2021 hello.txt

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Music

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 MyFolder

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Pictures

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp2.php

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp.php

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Public

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Templates

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Videos

 

You can also watch the video of this Linux ls options lesson!


 

Linux ls hidden files: ls -a option

There are some files that are hidden in Linux. When you use ls without -a option, these hidden files are not listed. But if you would like to see linux ls hidden files also, you can use linux ls -a command. To show you this option better, we will use this option with -l option as ls -la. The files which start with dot (.), is an hidden file.

 

oot@kali:/home/kali# ls -la
total 128
drwxr-xr-x 17 kali kali 4096 Sep 19 08:52 .
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jan 27  2020 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali    7 Jun 11  2021 abc
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc1
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc2
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali 2807 Sep 13 10:40 .bash_history
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali  220 Jan 27  2020 .bash_logout
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali 3391 Jan 27  2020 .bashrc
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali 3526 Jan 27  2020 .bashrc.original
drwxr-xr-x  8 kali kali 4096 Aug 11 04:40 .cache
drwxr-xr-x  9 kali kali 4096 Dec 20  2021 .config
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Aug 11 04:40 Desktop
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali   55 Jan 27  2020 .dmrc
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Documents
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Downloads
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 EmptyXYZ
drwx------  3 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 .gnupg
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali    0 Dec 20  2021 hello.txt
-rw-------  1 kali kali 6156 Sep 19 07:53 .ICEauthority
-rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Sep 19 08:50 IPCisco-1.txt
-rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Sep 19 08:50 IPCisco-2.txt
-rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Sep 19 08:51 IPCisco-3.txt
-rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Sep 19 08:52 IPCisco-4.txt
drwxr-xr-x  3 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 .local
drwx------  5 kali kali 4096 Aug 11 04:40 .mozilla
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Music
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 MyFolder
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Pictures
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp2.php
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp.php
-rw-r--r--  1 kali kali  807 Jan 27  2020 .profile
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Public
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Templates
drwxr-xr-x  2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Videos
-rw-------  1 kali kali 1624 Jun 11  2021 .viminfo
-rw-------  1 kali kali   49 Sep 19 07:53 .Xauthority
-rw-------  1 kali kali 6992 Sep 19 09:09 .xsession-errors
-rw-------  1 kali kali 7211 Sep 13 10:40 .xsession-errors.old

 


Listing With Date: ls -t option

If you would like to list the files according to their modified date, you can use ls -t option. When you use ls with -t option, the files under that directory will be listed according to their modified date. And last modified file will be at the top. Again, we will use this option with -l option as ls -lt.

 

root@kali:/home/kali# ls -lt

total 44

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Aug 11 04:40 Desktop

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Dec 20  2021 hello.txt

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 EmptyXYZ

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 MyFolder

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp2.php

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp.php

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc2

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc1

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    7 Jun 11  2021 abc

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Documents

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Downloads

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Music

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Pictures

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Public

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Templates

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Videos

 


ls -h option

Another Linux ls command option is “h”. When we use h option, this converts the listing to human readable format. For example, the size of the files become easier to read. We use this option, with -l option together, as -lh.

 

root@kali:/home/kali# ls -lh

total 44K

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    7 Jun 11  2021 abc

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc1

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc2

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Aug 11 04:40 Desktop

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jan 27  2020 Documents

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jan 27  2020 Downloads

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jun 11  2021 EmptyXYZ

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Dec 20  2021 hello.txt

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jan 27  2020 Music

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jun 11  2021 MyFolder

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jan 27  2020 Pictures

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp2.php

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp.php

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jan 27  2020 Public

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jan 27  2020 Templates

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4.0K Jan 27  2020 Videos

 


 

Linux Listing Files Decending

To list files in the decending order, we use linux ls -lS option. This command will list our files in the decending order under the current directory. In other words, the largest file will be at the top. Here, there is a key point! The “S” is capital S.

 

root@kali:/home/kali# ls -lS

total 44

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Aug 11 04:40 Desktop

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Documents

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Downloads

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 EmptyXYZ

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Music

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jun 11  2021 MyFolder

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Pictures

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Public

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Templates

drwxr-xr-x 2 kali kali 4096 Jan 27  2020 Videos

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    7 Jun 11  2021 abc

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc1

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 abc2

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Dec 20  2021 hello.txt

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp2.php

-rw-r--r-- 1 kali kali    0 Jun 11  2021 ppp.php

linux-ls-command-options-ipcisco.com


 

All ls option: ls –help

To learn all the Linux ls options that can be used with ls, you can use ls –help command. Below, you can find the output of ls –help command.

 

You can use this command with “more” to see option page by page.

root@kali:/home/kali# ls --help -more
Usage: ls [OPTION]... [FILE]...
List information about the FILEs (the current directory by default).
Sort entries alphabetically if none of -cftuvSUX nor --sort is specified.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
  -a, --all                  do not ignore entries starting with .
  -A, --almost-all           do not list implied . and ..
      --author               with -l, print the author of each file
  -b, --escape               print C-style escapes for nongraphic characters
      --block-size=SIZE      with -l, scale sizes by SIZE when printing them;
                               e.g., '--block-size=M'; see SIZE format below
  -B, --ignore-backups       do not list implied entries ending with ~
  -c                         with -lt: sort by, and show, ctime (time of last
                               modification of file status information);
                               with -l: show ctime and sort by name;
                               otherwise: sort by ctime, newest first
  -C                         list entries by columns
      --color[=WHEN]         colorize the output; WHEN can be 'always' (default
                               if omitted), 'auto', or 'never'; more info below
  -d, --directory            list directories themselves, not their contents
  -D, --dired                generate output designed for Emacs' dired mode
  -f                         do not sort, enable -aU, disable -ls --color
--More--

 

Or you can use only ls –help command to see the page completely.

 

root@kali:/home/kali# ls --help

Usage: ls [OPTION]... [FILE]...

List information about the FILEs (the current directory by default).

Sort entries alphabetically if none of -cftuvSUX nor --sort is specified.




Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

-a, --all                  do not ignore entries starting with .

-A, --almost-all           do not list implied . and ..

--author               with -l, print the author of each file

-b, --escape               print C-style escapes for nongraphic characters

--block-size=SIZE      with -l, scale sizes by SIZE when printing them;

e.g., '--block-size=M'; see SIZE format below

-B, --ignore-backups       do not list implied entries ending with ~

-c                         with -lt: sort by, and show, ctime (time of last

modification of file status information);

with -l: show ctime and sort by name;

otherwise: sort by ctime, newest first

-C                         list entries by columns

--color[=WHEN]         colorize the output; WHEN can be 'always' (default

if omitted), 'auto', or 'never'; more info below

-d, --directory            list directories themselves, not their contents

-D, --dired                generate output designed for Emacs' dired mode

-f                         do not sort, enable -aU, disable -ls --color

-F, --classify             append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries

--file-type            likewise, except do not append '*'

--format=WORD          across -x, commas -m, horizontal -x, long -l,

single-column -1, verbose -l, vertical -C

--full-time            like -l --time-style=full-iso

-g                         like -l, but do not list owner

--group-directories-first

group directories before files;

can be augmented with a --sort option, but any

use of --sort=none (-U) disables grouping

-G, --no-group             in a long listing, don't print group names

-h, --human-readable       with -l and -s, print sizes like 1K 234M 2G etc.

--si                   likewise, but use powers of 1000 not 1024

-H, --dereference-command-line

follow symbolic links listed on the command line

--dereference-command-line-symlink-to-dir

follow each command line symbolic link

that points to a directory

--hide=PATTERN         do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN

(overridden by -a or -A)

--hyperlink[=WHEN]     hyperlink file names; WHEN can be 'always'

(default if omitted), 'auto', or 'never'

--indicator-style=WORD  append indicator with style WORD to entry names:

none (default), slash (-p),

file-type (--file-type), classify (-F)

-i, --inode                print the index number of each file

-I, --ignore=PATTERN       do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN

-k, --kibibytes            default to 1024-byte blocks for disk usage;

used only with -s and per directory totals

-l                         use a long listing format

-L, --dereference          when showing file information for a symbolic

link, show information for the file the link

references rather than for the link itself

-m                         fill width with a comma separated list of entries

-n, --numeric-uid-gid      like -l, but list numeric user and group IDs

-N, --literal              print entry names without quoting

-o                         like -l, but do not list group information

-p, --indicator-style=slash

append / indicator to directories

-q, --hide-control-chars   print ? instead of nongraphic characters

--show-control-chars   show nongraphic characters as-is (the default,

unless program is 'ls' and output is a terminal)

-Q, --quote-name           enclose entry names in double quotes

--quoting-style=WORD   use quoting style WORD for entry names:

literal, locale, shell, shell-always,

shell-escape, shell-escape-always, c, escape

(overrides QUOTING_STYLE environment variable)

-r, --reverse              reverse order while sorting

-R, --recursive            list subdirectories recursively

-s, --size                 print the allocated size of each file, in blocks

-S                         sort by file size, largest first

--sort=WORD            sort by WORD instead of name: none (-U), size (-S),

time (-t), version (-v), extension (-X)

--time=WORD            with -l, show time as WORD instead of default

modification time: atime or access or use (-u);

ctime or status (-c); also use specified time

as sort key if --sort=time (newest first)

--time-style=TIME_STYLE  time/date format with -l; see TIME_STYLE below

-t                         sort by modification time, newest first

-T, --tabsize=COLS         assume tab stops at each COLS instead of 8

-u                         with -lt: sort by, and show, access time;

with -l: show access time and sort by name;

otherwise: sort by access time, newest first

-U                         do not sort; list entries in directory order

-v                         natural sort of (version) numbers within text

-w, --width=COLS           set output width to COLS.  0 means no limit

-x                         list entries by lines instead of by columns

-X                         sort alphabetically by entry extension

-Z, --context              print any security context of each file

-1                         list one file per line.  Avoid '\n' with -q or -b

--help     display this help and exit

--version  output version information and exit

 

 

Lesson tags: ls options, linux commands
Back to: Kali Linux Course

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

IPCisco is the Winner of 2019 “Best Certification Study Journey” Category! We are also Finalist of 2020 & 2021 in Cisco IT Blog Awards!

Cisco-ITBlogAwards-2019-Winner-IPCisco-k
ITBlogAwards_2020_Badge-Finalist-BestCertStudy-ipcisco
ITBlogAwars-2021-ipcisco
IPCisco on Social Media!