I'm relatively new to programming as a whole and some tutorials have been telling me to use ls -l to look at files in a directory and others have been saying ll. I know that ls is a short list, but is there a difference between the other two?

  • You can inspect how your *sh shell interprets any command with type [command]. type ll results in ll is aliased to 'ls -alF' in my setup. Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 0:13

2 Answers 2


This is located in your .bashrc:

alias ll='ls -al'

By taking a look at the manual pages for the command ls, you can see what those two attributes accomplish together:

  1. -a: do not ignore entries starting with ..
  2. -l: use a long listing format.

So you can understand that ls -l would ignore any entry starting with .. That's their only difference.


Let me note, that, as commented, the ll alias differs from installation to installation. In case you are wondering what's yours, please open up a terminal and enter:

alias ll

This will show you how ll is set. You can then look up the additional attributes by typing:

man ls
  • 3
    I have ll is aliased to 'ls -l'... The alias is copied over from the skeleton files so what people have depends on when they installed.
    – Oli
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 9:57
  • 1
    I have ls='ls --color=auto', ll='ls -lh'. Ubuntu 14.04 ships /etc/skel/.bashrc with ls='ls --color=auto' ll='ls -alF, but that's horrible. I use ll when I want sizes/dates/perms, ll -a if I also want dotfiles. Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 19:21
  • I also use alias l=ll, handy in case I miss a key. Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 19:25
  • I've got alias ll = ls -alF if this helps anyone.
    – user323419
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 20:15
  • 2
    For your explanation of -a, you might want to put . in backticks so it's more visible.
    – cpast
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 5:50

ll is a common alias for ls -l. It is a part of the default .bashrc, with a couple more options:

$ grep 'alias ll' /etc/skel/.bashrc
alias ll='ls -alF'

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