The ls command is used to list files. ``ls'' on its own lists all files in the current directory except for hidden files. There are a number of options which can be combined, such as ls -la which gives a long listing of all files.
- ls -a will list all files including hidden files (files
with names beginning with a dot).
- ls -F gives a full listing, indicating what type files are
by putting a slash after directories and a star after executable files
(programs you can run).
- ls -l gives a long listing of all files
Here is an example section of the output of ls -l
drwxr-xr-x 4 andym users 1034 Jun 8 16:46 stuff
-rw------- 1 andym users 1234 Jul 28 14:35 file
-rw------- 1 andym users 2349 Apr 28 16:00 thing
-rw-r--r-- 1 andym users 2354 Oct 22 11:14 spud
-rw-r--r-- 1 andym users 4131 Sep 21 15:23 todo
-rw-r--r-- 1 andym users 44123 Sep 1 16:07 nottodo
Explanation of layout
The first column gives the type of the file (i.e. directory or file) and the file permissions
The second column is the number of links to the file i.e., (more or less) the number of names there are for the file. Generally an ordinary file will only have one link, but a directory will have more, because you can refer to it as ``dirname'', ``dirname/.'' where the dot means ``current directory'', and if it has a subdirectory named ``subdir'', ``dirname/subdir/..'' (the ``..'' means ``parent directory'')
The third and fourth columns are the user who owns the file and the Unix group of users to whom the file belongs. Most users belong to the default group users
The fifth column is the size of the file in bytes
The next three columns are the time at which the file was last changed (for a directory, this is the time at which a file in that directory was last created or deleted)
The last column is the name of the file
gives a recursive listing, including the contents of all subdirectories, their subdirectories, etc.
lists the files in order of the time when they were last modified (newest first), rather than in alphabetical order
lists the files in the reverse of the order that they would otherwise have been listed in. Thus, ls -lrt
will give a long listing, oldest first, which is handy for seeing which files in a
large directory have recently been changed