ls — stdin  stdout  - file  -- opt  --help  --version


ls [options] [files]

The ls command (pronounced as it is spelled, ell ess) lists attributes of files and directories. You can list files in the current directory:


in given directories:

ls dir1 dir2 dir3

or individually:

ls file1 file2 dir3/file3

The most important options are -a, -l, and -d. By default, ls hides files whose names begin with a dot, as explained in the sidebar Dot Files. The -a option displays all files:

myfile1   myfile2
➜ ls -a
.hidden_file   myfile1   myfile2

The -l option produces a long listing:

ls -l
-rw-r--r--    1 smith users       149 Oct 28  2011

that includes, from left to right: the file’s permissions (-rw-r--r--), owner (smith), group (users), size (149 bytes), last modification date (Oct 28 2011) and name. See File Protections for more information on permissions.

Add the -@ option to -l to display OS X extended attributes of the files in question:

ls -l@ letter.docx
-rw-r--r--@  1 smith users   49269 Nov 19 2011 letter.docx        32

The -d option lists information about a directory itself, rather than descending into the directory to list its files.

ls -ld my.dir
drwxr-xr-x    1 smith users      4096 Oct 29  2011 my.dir

Useful options


List all files, including those whose names begin with a dot.


Long listing, including file attributes. Add the -h option (human-readable) to print file sizes in kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes, instead of bytes.


Also display OS X extended attributes. ...

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