File:,  Node: ls invocation,  Next: dir invocation,  Up: Directory listing

`ls': List directory contents

   The `ls' program lists information about files (of any type,
including directories).  Options and file arguments can be intermixed
arbitrarily, as usual.

   For non-option command-line arguments that are directories, by
default `ls' lists the contents of directories, not recursively, and
omitting files with names beginning with `.'.  For other non-option
arguments, by default `ls' lists just the file name.  If no non-option
arguments are specified, `ls' lists the contents of the current

   By default, the output is sorted alphabetically.  If standard output
is a terminal, the output is in columns (sorted vertically); otherwise,
they are listed one per line.

   Because `ls' is such a fundamental program, it has accumulated many
options over the years.  They are described in the subsections below;
within each section, options are listed alphabetically (ignoring case).
The division of options into the subsections is not absolute, since some
options affect more than one aspect of `ls''s operation.

   The `-g' option is accepted but ignored, for compatibility with
Unix.  Also see *Note Common options::.

* Menu:

* Which files are listed::
* What information is listed::
* Sorting the output::
* General output formatting::
* Formatting the file names::