How to list recursively with "ls"? [SOLVED]


"ls" is a command-line utility in Unix-based operating systems that allows users to list the contents of a directory. The "ls" command is a versatile tool that provides users with a variety of options to display information about files and directories.

One of the most powerful features of the "ls" command is its ability to list directories and subdirectories recursively. Recursion is the process of calling a function within itself, and in the case of "ls" it means listing the contents of a directory and all its subdirectories.

Recursively listing directories is a useful tool for finding and organizing files, especially when working with large and complex file systems. This feature can help users quickly locate files in a directory hierarchy, and it can also be used to perform batch operations on files in multiple directories.

In this article, we will explore how to use the "ls" command to list directories and subdirectories recursively. We will cover the syntax of the command, the various options available, and some useful examples to help you get started.

We have following directory structure:

my_directory/
├── file1.txt
├── file2.txt
├── subdir1/
│   ├── file3.txt
│   └── file4.txt
└── subdir2/
    ├── file5.txt
    └── file6.txt

 

Method-1: ls -R

The ls -R command is used to list all the files and subdirectories in a directory recursively, including all files and directories in all subdirectories. The -R option stands for "recursive".

# ls -R my_directory/
my_directory/:
file1.txt  file2.txt  subdir1  subdir2

my_directory/subdir1:
file3.txt  file4.txt

my_directory/subdir2:
file5.txt  file6.txt

Each directory and its subdirectories and files are listed.

 

Method-2: ls -lR

The ls -lR command is used to list all files and subdirectories in a directory recursively, along with their detailed information, such as permissions, ownership, size, and modification time. The -l option stands for "long format", which means that it will display each file or directory's detailed information.

# ls -lR my_directory/
my_directory/:
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  0 Mar 14 10:42 file1.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  0 Mar 14 10:42 file2.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 40 Mar 14 10:43 subdir1
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 40 Mar 14 10:43 subdir2

my_directory/subdir1:
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file3.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file4.txt

my_directory/subdir2:
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file5.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file6.txt

 

Method-3: ls -LR

The ls -LR command is used to list all files and subdirectories in a directory recursively, with subdirectories shown before their contents. The -L option tells ls to follow symbolic links, and the -R option tells ls to list all files and subdirectories recursively.

# ls -LR my_directory/
my_directory/:
file1.txt  file2.txt  subdir1  subdir2

my_directory/subdir1:
file3.txt  file4.txt

my_directory/subdir2:
file5.txt  file6.txt

 

Method-4: ls -1R

This command lists all files and subdirectories in a directory recursively, with each item on a separate line. The -1 option tells ls to display each file or directory on a separate line, and the -R option tells ls to list all files and subdirectories recursively. Here's an example:

# ls -1R my_directory/
my_directory/:
file1.txt
file2.txt
subdir1
subdir2

my_directory/subdir1:
file3.txt
file4.txt

my_directory/subdir2:
file5.txt
file6.txt

 

Method-5: ls -lLR

This command lists all files and subdirectories in a directory recursively, with detailed information about each item. The -l option tells ls to display detailed information about each file or directory, and the -LR option tells ls to list all files and subdirectories recursively. Here's an example:

# ls -lLR my_directory/
my_directory/:
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  0 Mar 14 10:42 file1.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  0 Mar 14 10:42 file2.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 40 Mar 14 10:43 subdir1
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 40 Mar 14 10:43 subdir2

my_directory/subdir1:
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file3.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file4.txt

my_directory/subdir2:
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file5.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 10:43 file6.txt

 

Method-6: ls -aLR

This command lists all files and subdirectories in a directory recursively, including hidden files and directories (those whose names begin with a dot). The -a option tells ls to show hidden files and directories, and the -LR option tells ls to list all files and subdirectories recursively. Here's an example:

# ls -aLR my_directory/
my_directory/:
.  ..  file1.txt  file2.txt  subdir1  subdir2

my_directory/subdir1:
.  ..  file3.txt  file4.txt

my_directory/subdir2:
.  ..  file5.txt  file6.txt

 

Summary

In Linux, the 'ls' command is used to list the contents of a directory. It can be used to list files and directories recursively. When you use the 'ls' command with the '-R' option, it recursively lists all files and directories in the specified directory and its subdirectories.

To list recursively using the 'ls' command, open your terminal and navigate to the directory that you want to list. Then, enter the 'ls -R' command and press enter. This will display all the files and directories in the current directory and its subdirectories.

By default, the 'ls' command lists files and directories in alphabetical order. If you want to sort the output by size, time, or some other criterion, you can use additional options with the 'ls' command.

In summary, the 'ls' command with the '-R' option is an efficient way to recursively list all files and directories in a directory and its subdirectories in Linux.

 

References

man7.org - Linux manual page( ls )

 

Views: 60

Omer Cakmak

He is highly skilled at managing Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Oracle Linux, and Red Hat servers. Proficient in bash scripting, Ansible, and AWX central server management, he handles server operations on OpenStack, KVM, Proxmox, and VMware. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or check his projects on GitHub page.

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