I wanted to ask about the ls command in lubuntu 15.10. Now there is a new line for every entry. I know from other distributions that there is also an output style where ls outputs the content of folders without new lines in a compact way when typed without any options. Is that possible in lubuntu, too?


The ls version is 8.23 and type ls outputs

ls is aliased to `ls --color=auto'

The -C flag does not create a different output than without any options.

I have read the manual man ls after the comment, but could not find anything relevant to my question there.

  • ls is part of coreutils and these should be the same all across. What kind of version you have? type in ls --version , let us know. Also , type ls output would be nice to know. ls also has -C flag, but that should be default in terminal - you wouldn't need that unless you are redirecting output to a file. – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Feb 13 '16 at 14:26
  • Reading man ls is a good first step. – waltinator Feb 13 '16 at 14:29
  • @waltinator man page for ls isn't very descriptive, info ls is a bit more in detail, which is the source of my knowledge about -C and -1 flags. OP's output suggests that he has ls -1 behavior , while ls -C should be the default. – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Feb 13 '16 at 14:39
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    Are there any files with unusually long names in the directory you are trying to list? That can prevent it from columnising the output. – steeldriver Feb 13 '16 at 14:40
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    @steeldriver good catch ! post an answer – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Feb 13 '16 at 14:45

Very long file names will force the output of ls to be one per line. You could rename the file to have a shorter file name.

Or you could try the below command which forcefully truncates file names (from this answer on Unix & Linux):

ls | cut -c1-20 | column -c"${COLUMNS:-80}"

If you wanted you could make a special alias to execute this with lc, for example, by adding the following to your ~/.bash_alisaes file:

alias lc='ls | cut -c1-20 | column -c"${COLUMNS:-80}"'

However that alias won't allow you to pass flags like -l or -a, so instead you could make a script ~/bin/lc and make it executable with chmod +x ~/bin/lc:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

ls $@ | cut -c1-20 | column -c"${COLUMNS:-80}"

Kudos @steeldriver for discovering the issue in the comments above.

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