LS(1) BSD General Commands Manual LS(1)NAMEls — list directory contents
SYNOPSISls [-ACFLRTWacdfiloqrstu1] [file ...]
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, asso‐
If no operands are given, the contents of the current directory are dis‐
played. If more than one operand is given, non-directory operands are
displayed first; directory and non-directory operands are sorted sepa‐
rately and in lexicographical order.
The following options are available:
-A List all entries except for ‘.’ and ‘..’. Always set for the
-C Force multi-column output; this is the default when output is to
-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, and a percent sign (%) after
-L If argument is a symbolic link, list the file or directory the
link references rather than the link itself.
-R Recursively list subdirectories encountered.
-T Display complete time information for the file, including month,
day, hour, minute, second, and year.
-W Display whiteouts when scanning directories.
-a Include directory entries whose names begin with a dot (.).
-c Use time when file status was last changed for sorting or print‐
-d Directories are listed as plain files (not searched recursively)
and symbolic links in the argument list are not indirected
-f Output is not sorted.
-i For each file, print the file's file serial number (inode num‐
-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.
-o Include the file flags in a long (-l) output
-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
-t Sort by time modified (most recently modified first) before sort‐
ing the operands by lexicographical order.
-u Use time of last access, instead of last modification of the file
for sorting (-t) or printing (-l).
-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, and -l options all override each other; the last one speci‐
fied determines the format used.
The -c, and -u options override each other; the last one specified deter‐
mines the file time used.
By default, ls lists one entry per line to standard output; the excep‐
tions are to terminals or when the -C option is 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
If the -l option is given, the following information is displayed for
each file: file mode, number of links, owner name, group name, number of
bytes in the file, abbreviated month, day-of-month file was last modi‐
fied, hour file last modified, minute file last modified, and the path‐
name. 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 owner or group names are not a known user or group name 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,
owner permissions, and group permissions. The entry type character
describes the type of file, as follows:
b Block special file.
c Character special file.
l Symbolic link.
s Socket link.
- Regular file.
The next three fields are three characters each: owner permissions, group
permissions, and other permissions. Each field has three character posi‐
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 exe‐
cutable 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 exe‐
cutable and set-user-ID mode is set. If in the
group permissions, the file is executable and set‐
group-ID mode is set.
x The file is executable or the directory is search‐
- The file is neither readable, writeable, exe‐
cutable, 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 sticky(8).)
t The sticky bit is set (mode 1000), and is search‐
able or executable. (See chmod(1) or sticky(8).)
The ls utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
The following environment variables affect the execution of ls:
BLOCKSIZE If the environmental variable BLOCKSIZE is set, the block
counts (see -s) will be displayed in units of that size block.
COLUMNS If this variable contains a string representing a decimal
integer, it is used as the column position width for display‐
ing multiple-text-column output. The ls utility calculates
how many pathname text columns to display based on the width
provided. (See -C.)
TZ The timezone to use when displaying dates. See environ(7) for
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 ALSOchmod(1), symlink(7), sticky(8)HISTORY
An ls command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
The ls function is expected to be a superset of the IEEE Std 1003.2
BSD July 29, 1994 BSD