Linux ls command

In Linux, command line syntax “ls” stands for list. List command (ls) show the full list or content of your directory.

List all the files and folders.

Just type ls and press the enter key. The whole content will be shown.

atulhost@ubuntu:~$ ls
Desktop Documents Downloads Music Pictures Videos

List all the files and folders, including hidden ones.

Just ls command will show you all the files and folders, as there could be much hidden stuff. If you want to list those all the hidden files too, just use the syntax ls -a where flag a stands for all.

atulhost@ubuntu:~$ ls -a
. .. .cache .mozilla .thunderbird
Desktop Downloads Music Documents Pictures Videos

In the above results, the single full stop means null operation, and double full stop means previous directory.

List the directory in detailed view.

Now, what if you want to list the directory with details. Simply use syntax ls -l where flag l stands for long.

atulhost@ubuntu:~$ ls -l
total 20
drwxr-xr-x 2 atulhost ubuntu 4096 Jan 01 12:00 Desktop
drwxr-xr-x 4 atulhost ubuntu 4096 Jan 01 12:00 Documents
drwxr-xr-x 8 atulhost ubuntu 4096 Jan 01 12:00 Downloads
drwxr-xr-x 2 atulhost ubuntu 4096 Jan 01 12:00 Music
drwxr-xr-x 2 atulhost ubuntu 4096 Jan 01 12:00 Pictures
drwxr-xr-x 2 atulhost ubuntu 4096 Jan 01 12:00 Videos

In the above results you can clearly read, there are total 20 files in the directory, folder permissions, file counts, user and owner details, size, date-time of creation, and finally name of the folder in a detailed view.

Similarly, I have made a list of all list flags followed by their descriptions.

List flagsDescription
ls -aIn Linux, hidden files start with . (dot) symbol and they are not visible in the regular directory. The (ls -a) command will enlist the whole list of the current directory including the hidden files.
ls -lIt will show the list in a long list format.
ls -lhThis command will show you the file sizes in human readable format. Size of the file is very difficult to read when displayed in terms of byte. The (ls -lh) command will give you the data in terms of Mb, Gb, Tb, etc.
ls -lhSIf you want to display your files in descending order (highest at the top) according to their size, then you can use (ls -lhS) command.
ls -l --block-size=[SHOW SIZE IN]It is used to display the files in a specific size format. Here, in the place of [SHOW SIZE IN] you can assign size according to your requirement. Use: K = Kilobyte, M = Megabyte, G = Gigabyte, T = Terabyte, P = Petabyte, E = Exabyte, Z = Zettabyte, Y = Yottabyte.
ls -d */It is used to display only sub-directories.
ls -g or ls -lGWith this you can exclude column of group information and owner.
ls -nIt is used to print group ID and owner ID instead of their names.
ls --color=[VALUE]This command is used to print list as colored or discolored.
ls -liThis command prints the index number if file is in the first column.
ls -pIt is used to identify the directory easily by marking the directories with a slash (/) line sign.
ls -rIt is used to print the list in reverse order.
ls -RIt will display the content of the sub-directories also.
ls -lXIt will group the files with same extensions together in the list.
ls -ltIt will sort the list by displaying recently modified filed at top.
ls ~It gives the contents of home directory.
ls ../It gives the contents of parent directory.
ls --versionIt checks the version of ls command.

I hope this article help you to understand list command.

Published by AtulHost

Creator of AtulHost. An ardent Linux user. Comes from a business management background. Loves to do research on modern business insights and technological solutions.

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