vdir — list directory contents


vdir [OPTION...] [FILE...]


List information about the FILEs (the current directory by default). Sort entries alphabetically if none of −cftuvSUX nor −−sort is specified.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

−a, −−all

do not ignore entries starting with .

−A, −−almost−all

do not list implied . and ..


with −l, print the author of each file

−b, −−escape

print C−style escapes for nongraphic characters


scale sizes by SIZE before printing them. E.g., '−−block−size=M' prints sizes in units of 1,048,576 bytes. See SIZE format below.

−B, −−ignore−backups

do not list implied entries ending with ~


with −lt: sort by, and show, ctime (time of last modification of file status information) with −l: show ctime and sort by name otherwise: sort by ctime, newest first


list entries by columns


colorize the output. WHEN defaults to 'always' or can be 'never' or 'auto'. More info below

−d, −−directory

list directory entries instead of contents, and do not dereference symbolic links

−D, −−dired

generate output designed for Emacs' dired mode


do not sort, enable −aU, disable −ls −−color

−F, −−classify

append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries


likewise, except do not append '*'


across −x, commas −m, horizontal −x, long −l, single−column −1, verbose −l, vertical −C


like −l −−time−style=full−iso


like −l, but do not list owner


group directories before files.

augment with a −−sort option, but any use of −−sort=none (−U) disables grouping

−G, −−no−group

in a long listing, don't print group names

−h, −−human−readable

with −l, print sizes in human readable format (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)


likewise, but use powers of 1000 not 1024

−H, −−dereference−command−line

follow symbolic links listed on the command line


follow each command line symbolic link that points to a directory


do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN (overridden by −a or −A)


append indicator with style WORD to entry names: none (default), slash (−p), file−type (−−file−type), classify (−F)

−i, −−inode

print the index number of each file

−I, −−ignore=PATTERN

do not list implied entries matching shell PATTERN

−k, −−kibibytes

use 1024−byte blocks


use a long listing format

−L, −−dereference

when showing file information for a symbolic link, show information for the file the link references rather than for the link itself


fill width with a comma separated list of entries

−n, −−numeric−uid−gid

like −l, but list numeric user and group IDs

−N, −−literal

print raw entry names (don't treat e.g. control characters specially)


like −l, but do not list group information

−p, −−indicator−style=slash

append / indicator to directories

−q, −−hide−control−chars

print ? instead of non graphic characters


show non graphic characters as−is (default unless program is 'ls' and output is a terminal)

−Q, −−quote−name

enclose entry names in double quotes


use quoting style WORD for entry names: literal, locale, shell, shell−always, c, escape

−r, −−reverse

reverse order while sorting

−R, −−recursive

list subdirectories recursively

−s, −−size

print the allocated size of each file, in blocks


sort by file size


sort by WORD instead of name: none −U, extension −X, size −S, time −t, version −v


with −l, show time as WORD instead of modification time: atime −u, access −u, use −u, ctime −c, or status −c; use specified time as sort key if −−sort=time


with −l, show times using style STYLE: full−iso, long−iso, iso, locale, +FORMAT. FORMAT is interpreted like 'date'; if FORMAT is FORMAT1<newline>FORMAT2, FORMAT1 applies to non−recent files and FORMAT2 to recent files; if STYLE is prefixed with 'posix−', STYLE takes effect only outside the POSIX locale


sort by modification time, newest first

−T, −−tabsize=COLS

assume tab stops at each COLS instead of 8


with −lt: sort by, and show, access time with −l: show access time and sort by name otherwise: sort by access time


do not sort; list entries in directory order


natural sort of (version) numbers within text

−w, −−width=COLS

assume screen width instead of current value


list entries by lines instead of by columns


sort alphabetically by entry extension

−Z, −−context

print any SELinux security context of each file


list one file per line


display this help and exit


output version information and exit

SIZE is an integer and optional unit (example: 10M is 10*1024*1024). Units are K, M, G, T, P, E, Z, Y (powers of 1024) or KB, MB, ... (powers of 1000).

Using color to distinguish file types is disabled both by default and with −−color=never. With −−color=auto, ls emits color codes only when standard output is connected to a terminal. The LS_COLORS environment variable can change the settings. Use the dircolors command to set it.

Exit status:


if OK,


if minor problems (e.g., cannot access subdirectory),


if serious trouble (e.g., cannot access command−line argument).


Written by Richard M. Stallman and David MacKenzie.


Report vdir bugs to bug−

GNU coreutils home page: <>

General help using GNU software: <>

Report vdir translation bugs to <>


The full documentation for vdir is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and vdir programs are properly installed at your site, the command

  • info coreutils 'vdir invocation'

should give you access to the complete manual.


Copyright © 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.