*nix Documentation Project
·  Home
 +   man pages
·  Linux HOWTOs
·  FreeBSD Tips
·  *niX Forums

  man pages->FreeBSD man pages -> ls (1)              



NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     ls -- list directory contents

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     ls [-ABCFGHLPRTWZabcdfghiklmnopqrstuwx1] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     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 operand that names a file of type directory, ls displays the names
     of files contained within that directory, as well as any requested, associated

     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.

     The following options are available:

     -A      List all entries except for . and ...  Always set for the superuser.

     -B      Force printing of non-printable characters (as defined by
	     ctype(3) and current locale settings) in file names as \xxx,
	     where xxx is the numeric value of the character in octal.

     -C      Force multi-column output; this is the default when output is to
	     a terminal.

     -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 equals sign (`=') after
	     each socket, a percent sign (`%') after each whiteout, and a vertical
 bar (`|') after each that is a FIFO.

     -G      Enable colorized output.  This option is equivalent to defining
	     CLICOLOR in the environment.  (See below.)

     -H      Symbolic links on the command line are followed.  This option is
	     assumed if none of the -F, -d, or -l options are specified.

     -L      If argument is a symbolic link, list the file or directory the
	     link references rather than the link itself.  This option cancels
	     the -P option.

     -P      If argument is a symbolic link, list the link itself rather than
	     the object the link references.  This option cancels the -H and
	     -L options.

     -R      Recursively list subdirectories encountered.

     -T      When used with the -l (lowercase letter ``ell'') option, display
	     complete time information for the file, including month, day,
	     hour, minute, second, and year.

     -W      Display whiteouts when scanning directories.

     -Z      Display each file's MAC label; see maclabel(7).

     -a      Include directory entries whose names begin with a dot (.).

     -b      As -B, but use C escape codes whenever possible.

     -c      Use time when file status was last changed for sorting or printing.

     -d      Directories are listed as plain files (not searched recursively).

     -f      Output is not sorted.

     -g      This option is deprecated and is only available for compatibility
	     with 4.3BSD; it was used to display the group name in the long
	     (-l) format output.

     -h      When used with the -l option, use unit suffixes: Byte, Kilobyte,
	     Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte and Petabyte in order to reduce the
	     number of digits to four or fewer using base 2 for sizes.

     -i      For each file, print the file's file serial number (inode number).

     -k      If the -s option is specified, print the file size allocation in
	     kilobytes, not blocks.  This option overrides the environment
	     variable BLOCKSIZE.  Note that -k is mutually exclusive to -h and
	     later -k will nullify earlier -h.

     -l      (The lowercase letter ``ell''.)  List in long format.  (See
	     below.)  If the output is to a terminal, a total sum for all the
	     file sizes is output on a line before the long listing.

     -m      Stream output format; list files across the page, separated by

     -n      Display user and group IDs numerically rather than converting to
	     a user or group name in a long (-l) output.

     -o      Include the file flags in a long (-l) output.

     -p      Write a slash (`/') after each filename if that file is a directory.

     -q      Force printing of non-graphic characters in file names as the
	     character `?'; this is the default when output is to a terminal.

     -r      Reverse the order of the sort to get reverse lexicographical
	     order or the oldest entries first.

     -s      Display the number of file system blocks actually used by each
	     file, in units of 512 bytes, where partial units are rounded up
	     to the next integer value.  If the output is to a terminal, a
	     total sum for all the file sizes is output on a line before the
	     listing.  The environment variable BLOCKSIZE overrides the unit
	     size of 512 bytes.

     -t      Sort by time modified (most recently modified first) before sorting
 the operands by lexicographical order.

     -u      Use time of last access, instead of last modification of the file
	     for sorting (-t) or printing (-l).

     -w      Force raw printing of non-printable characters.  This is the
	     default when output is not to a terminal.

     -x      The same as -C, except that the multi-column output is produced
	     with entries sorted across, rather than down, the columns.

     -1      (The numeric digit ``one''.)  Force output to be one entry per
	     line.  This is the default when output is not to a terminal.

     The -1, -C, -x, and -l options all override each other; the last one
     specified determines the format used.

     The -c and -u options override each other; the last one specified determines
 the file time used.

     The -B, -b, -w, and -q options all override each other; the last one
     specified determines the format used for non-printable characters.

     The -H, -L and -P options all override each other (either partially or
     fully); they are applied in the order specified.

     By default, ls lists one entry per line to standard output; the exceptions
 are to terminals or when the -C or -x options are specified.

     File information is displayed with one or more <blank>s separating the
     information associated with the -i, -s, and -l options.

   The Long Format    [Toc]    [Back]
     If the -l option is given, the following information is displayed for
     each file: file mode, number of links, owner name, group name, MAC label,
     number of bytes in the file, abbreviated month, day-of-month file was
     last modified, hour file last modified, minute file last modified, and
     the pathname.  In addition, for each directory whose contents are displayed,
 the total number of 512-byte blocks used by the files in the
     directory is displayed on a line by itself immediately before the information
 for the files in the directory.

     If the modification time of the file is more than 6 months in the past or
     future, then the year of the last modification is displayed in place of
     the hour and minute fields.

     If the owner or group names are not a known user or group name, or the -n
     option is given, the numeric ID's are 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 file is a symbolic link the pathname of the linked-to file is preceded
 by ``->''.

     The file mode printed under the -l option consists of the entry type and
     the permissions.  The entry type character describes the type of file, as

	   b	 Block special file.
	   c	 Character special file.
	   d	 Directory.
	   l	 Symbolic link.
	   s	 Socket link.
	   p	 FIFO.
	   -	 Regular file.

     The next three fields are three characters each: owner permissions, group
     permissions, and other permissions.  Each field has three character positions:

	   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 setgroup-ID
 mode is set.

		      x     The file is executable or the directory is searchable.

		      -     The file is neither readable, writable, executable,
 nor set-user-ID nor set-group-ID mode,
			    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 not execute
			    or search permission.  (See chmod(1) or

		      t     The sticky bit is set (mode 1000), and is searchable
 or executable.  (See chmod(1) or sticky(8).)

     The next field contains a plus (`+') character if the file has an ACL, or
     a space (` ') if it does not.  The ls utility does not show the actual
     ACL; use getfacl(1) to do this.

EXAMPLES    [Toc]    [Back]

     The following is how to do an ls listing sorted by size (and shows why ls
     does not need a separate option for this):

	   ls -l | sort -n +4

     Additionally, the -r flag to sort(1) may be used to get the results
     sorted from largest to smallest (a reverse sort).

DIAGNOSTICS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The ls utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

     The following environment variables affect the execution of ls:

     BLOCKSIZE	     If the environment variable BLOCKSIZE is set, the block
		     counts (see -s) will be displayed in units of that size

     CLICOLOR	     Use ANSI color sequences to distinguish file types.  See
		     LSCOLORS below.  In addition to the file types mentioned
		     in the -F option some extra attributes (setuid bit set,
		     etc.) are also displayed.	The colorization is dependent
		     on a terminal type with the proper termcap(5) capabilities.
  The default ``cons25'' console has the proper
		     capabilities, but to display the colors in an xterm(1),
		     for example, the TERM variable must be set to
		     ``xterm-color''.  Other terminal types may require similar
 adjustments.  Colorization is silently disabled if
		     the output isn't directed to a terminal unless the
		     CLICOLOR_FORCE variable is defined.

     CLICOLOR_FORCE  Color sequences are normally disabled if the output isn't
		     directed to a terminal.  This can be overridden by setting
 this flag.  The TERM variable still needs to reference
 a color capable terminal however otherwise it is not
		     possible to determine which color sequences to use.

     COLUMNS	     If this variable contains a string representing a decimal
		     integer, it is used as the column position width for displaying
 multiple-text-column output.  The ls utility calculates
 how many pathname text columns to display based
		     on the width provided.  (See -C and -x.)

     LANG	     The locale to use when determining the order of day and
		     month in the long -l format output.  See environ(7) for
		     more information.

     LSCOLORS	     The value of this variable describes what color to use
		     for which attribute when colors are enabled with
		     CLICOLOR.	This string is a concatenation of pairs of the
		     format fb, where f is the foreground color and b is the
		     background color.

		     The color designators are as follows:

			   a	 black
			   b	 red
			   c	 green
			   d	 brown
			   e	 blue
			   f	 magenta
			   g	 cyan
			   h	 light grey
			   A	 bold black, usually shows up as dark grey
			   B	 bold red
			   C	 bold green
			   D	 bold brown, usually shows up as yellow
			   E	 bold blue
			   F	 bold magenta
			   G	 bold cyan
			   H	 bold light grey; looks like bright white
			   x	 default foreground or background

		     Note that the above are standard ANSI colors.  The actual
		     display may differ depending on the color capabilities of
		     the terminal in use.

		     The order of the attributes are as follows:

			   1.	directory
			   2.	symbolic link
			   3.	socket
			   4.	pipe
			   5.	executable
			   6.	block special
			   7.	character special
			   8.	executable with setuid bit set
			   9.	executable with setgid bit set
			   10.	directory writable to others, with sticky bit
			   11.	directory writable to others, without sticky

		     The default is "exfxcxdxbxegedabagacad", i.e. blue foreground
 and default background for regular directories,
		     black foreground and red background for setuid executables,

     LS_COLWIDTHS    If this variable is set, it is considered to be a colondelimited
 list of minimum column widths.  Unreasonable
		     and insufficient widths are ignored (thus zero signifies
		     a dynamically sized column).  Not all columns have
		     changeable widths.  The fields are, in order: inode,
		     block count, number of links, user name, group name,
		     flags, file size, file name.

     TERM	     The CLICOLOR functionality depends on a terminal type
		     with color capabilities.

     TZ 	     The timezone to use when displaying dates.  See
		     environ(7) for more information.

COMPATIBILITY    [Toc]    [Back]

     The group field is now automatically included in the long listing for
     files in order to be compatible with the IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'')

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     chflags(1), chmod(1), getfacl(1), sort(1), xterm(1), termcap(5),
     maclabel(7), symlink(7), getfmac(8), sticky(8)

STANDARDS    [Toc]    [Back]

     With the exception of options -g, -n and -o, the ls utility conforms to
     IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'').

     The ACL support is compatible with IEEE Std 1003.2c (``POSIX.2c'')
     Draft 17 (withdrawn).

HISTORY    [Toc]    [Back]

     An ls command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     To maintain backward compatibility, the relationships between the many
     options are quite complex.

FreeBSD 5.2.1			 May 19, 2002			 FreeBSD 5.2.1
[ Back ]
 Similar pages
Name OS Title
ls IRIX list contents of directory
nisls HP-UX list the contents of an NIS+ directory
lifls HP-UX list contents of a LIF directory
efi_ls HP-UX list EFI file information or contents of an EFI directory
VOP_READDIR FreeBSD read contents of a directory
alphasort Tru64 Scan or sorts directory contents
dirview IRIX an interactive interface to the contents of a directory or URL
scandir Tru64 Scan or sorts directory contents
TIFFReadDirectory IRIX get the contents of the next directory in an open TIFF file
mdir Tru64 mtools utility to display contents of a DOS directory
Copyright © 2004-2005 DeniX Solutions SRL
newsletter delivery service