Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
LS(1)                   FreeBSD General Commands Manual                  LS(1)

NAME
     ls - list directory contents

SYNOPSIS
     ls [-ABCFGHILPRSTUWZabcdfghiklmnopqrstuwxy1,] [-D format] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION
     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 information.

     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      Include directory entries whose names begin with a dot (`.')
             except for . and ...  Automatically set for the super-user unless
             -I is specified.

     -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.

     -D format
             When printing in the long (-l) format, use format to format the
             date and time output.  The argument format is a string used by
             strftime(3).  Depending on the choice of format string, this may
             result in a different number of columns in the output.  This
             option overrides the -T option.

     -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.)  This functionality
             can be compiled out by removing the definition of COLORLS.

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

     -I      Prevent -A from being automatically set for the super-user.

     -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.

     -S      Sort by size (largest file first) before sorting the operands in
             lexicographical order.

     -T      When printing in the long (-l) format, display complete time
             information for the file, including month, day, hour, minute,
             second, and year.  The -D option gives even more control over the
             output format.

     -U      Use time when file was created for sorting or printing.

     -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      This has the same effect as setting environment variable
             BLOCKSIZE to 1024, except that it also nullifies any -h options
             to its left.

     -l      (The lowercase letter ``ell''.) List files in the long format, as
             described in the The Long Format subsection below.

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

     -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.

     -s      Display the number of blocks used in the file system by each
             file.  Block sizes and directory totals are handled as described
             in The Long Format subsection below, except (if the long format
             is not also requested) the directory totals are not output when
             the output is in a single column, even if multi-column output is
             requested.

     -t      Sort by descending time modified (most recently modified first).
             If two files have the same modification timestamp, sort their
             names in ascending lexicographical order.  The -r option reverses
             both of these sort orders.

             Note that these sort orders are contradictory: the time sequence
             is in descending order, the lexicographical sort is in ascending
             order.  This behavior is mandated by IEEE Std 1003.2
             (``POSIX.2'').  This feature can cause problems listing files
             stored with sequential names on FAT file systems, such as from
             digital cameras, where it is possible to have more than one image
             with the same timestamp.  In such a case, the photos cannot be
             listed in the sequence in which they were taken.  To ensure the
             same sort order for time and for lexicographical sorting, set the
             environment variable LS_SAMESORT or use the -y option.  This
             causes ls to reverse the lexicographal sort order when sorting
             files with the same modification timestamp.

     -u      Use time of last access, instead of time 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.

     -y      When the -t option is set, sort the alphabetical output in the
             same order as the time output.  This has the same effect as
             setting LS_SAMESORT.  See the description of the -t option for
             more details.

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

     -,      (Comma) When the -l option is set, print file sizes grouped and
             separated by thousands using the non-monetary separator returned
             by localeconv(3), typically a comma or period.  If no locale is
             set, or the locale does not have a non-monetary separator, this
             option has no effect.

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

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

     The -S and -t options override each other; the last one specified
     determines the sort order 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
     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.

     If the modification time of the file is more than 6 months in the past or
     future, and the -D or -T are not specified, 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 device
     number for the file is displayed in the size field.  If the file is a
     symbolic link the pathname of the linked-to file is preceded by ``->''.

     The listing of a directory's contents is preceded by a labeled total
     number of blocks used in the file system by the files which are listed as
     the directory's contents (which may or may not include . and .. and other
     files which start with a dot, depending on other options).

     The default block size is 512 bytes.  The block size may be set with
     option -k or environment variable BLOCKSIZE.  Numbers of blocks in the
     output will have been rounded up so the numbers of bytes is at least as
     many as used by the corresponding file system blocks (which might have a
     different size).

     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
     follows:

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

     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
                            sticky(7).)

                      t     The sticky bit is set (mode 1000), and is
                            searchable or executable.  (See chmod(1) or
                            sticky(7).)

     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.

ENVIRONMENT
     The following environment variables affect the execution of ls:

     BLOCKSIZE           If this is set, its value, rounded up to 512 or down
                         to a multiple of 512, will be used as the block size
                         in bytes by the -l and -s options.  See The Long
                         Format subsection for more information.

     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 is
                         not directed to a terminal unless the CLICOLOR_FORCE
                         variable is defined.

     CLICOLOR_FORCE      Color sequences are normally disabled if the output
                         is not directed to a terminal.  This can be
                         overridden by setting this variable.  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 bit

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

     LS_COLWIDTHS        If this variable is set, it is considered to be a
                         colon-delimited 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.

     LS_SAMESORT         If this variable is set, the -t option sorts the
                         names of files with the same modification timestamp
                         in the same sense as the time sort.  See the
                         description of the -t option for more details.

     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.

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

COMPATIBILITY
     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'')
     specification.

SEE ALSO
     chflags(1), chmod(1), getfacl(1), sort(1), xterm(1), localeconv(3),
     strftime(3), strmode(3), termcap(5), maclabel(7), sticky(7), symlink(7),
     getfmac(8)

STANDARDS
     With the exception of options -I, -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
     An ls command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

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

     The exception mentioned in the -s option description might be a feature
     that was based on the fact that single-column output usually goes to
     something other than a terminal.  It is debatable whether this is a
     design bug.

     IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') mandates opposite sort orders for files
     with the same timestamp when sorting with the -t option.

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE        November 8, 2012        FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | ENVIRONMENT | EXIT STATUS | COMPATIBILITY | SEE ALSO | STANDARDS | HISTORY | BUGS

Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:
<https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=ls&sektion=1&manpath=FreeBSD+9.2-RELEASE>

home | help