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Show files and folders in a directory – Terminal

Summary

To show the files and folders in one or more directories in your terminal, use the ls command:

ls
ls folder-name
ls folder-1 folder-2

Details

To show the files and folders in your current directory in your terminal, use the ls command:

ls

To show the files and folders in a different directory, you can include the path to that directory. For example, if you were in your home folder but wanted to display the files and folders in your Documents folder, you would enter the following command:

ls Documents

You can also use ls with the ~ and .. shortcuts.

ls ~
ls ~/Documents
ls ..
ls ../..

Show files and folders in multiple directories

To show the files and folders in multiple directories, pass in multiple directories as arguments to the ls command, like this:

ls Documents Downloads

Options

You can use the -1 flag to list everything in one column.

You can use the -G flag to add color to the output. Folder names will have one color and file names will be displayed using a different color.

You can also use the -F flag to add slashes to the ends of the folder names.

You can combine multiple flags like this:

ls -GF

Exercises

Try the following command in your project folder:

ls

You should see the following print out:

README.md    index.html    subfolder

References

Command Line Primer on the Apple Developer Archive (see the sections called Specifying Files and Directories and Frequently Used Commands)

Back to: Terminal Course > Terminal Basic Commands