Linux / UNIX List Just Directories Or Directory Names nixCraft Updated Tutorials/Posts

How do I list just directory names on a Linux and UNIX-like operating systems? How can I list directories only in Linux?

Linux or UNIX-like system use the ls command to list files and directories. However, ls does not have an option to list only directories. You can use combination of ls command and grep command to list directory names only. You can use the find command too. In this quick tutorial you will learn how to list only directories in Linux or UNIX.

Display or list all directories in Unix

Type the following command:
$ ls -l | grep `^d'
ls -l | egrep `^d'

Or better try the following ls command only to list directories for the current directory:
$ ls -d */
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: List Directories in Unix and Linux Systems
Fig.01: List Directories in Unix and Linux Systems

Linux list only directories using ls command

Run the following ls command:
ls -d */

Linux or Unix List Just Directories using ls command
Listing only directories using ls command in Linux or Unix-like systems

Linux Display or list only files

Type the following command to display list only files in Linux or Unix:
$ ls -l | egrep -v '^d'
$ ls -l | egrep -v '^d'

The grep command is used to searches input. It will filter out directories name by matching first character ‘d‘. To reverse effect i.e. just to display files you need to pass the -v option. It invert the sense of matching, to select non-matching lines.

You can create two aliases as follows to list only directories and files.
alias lf="ls -l | egrep -v '^d'"
alias ldir='ls -d */'
##alias ldir="ls -l | egrep '^d'"

Put above two aliases in your bash shell startup file:
$ cd
$ vi .bash_profile

Append two lines:
alias lf="ls -l | egrep -v '^d'"
alias ldir='ls -d */'
#alias ldir="ls -l | egrep '^d'"

Save and close the file in vim. Now just type lf – to list files. Again run ldir to list directories only:
$ cd /etc
$ lf

Sample outpust:

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2149 2006-09-04 23:25 adduser.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 44 2006-09-29 05:11 adjtime
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 197 2006-09-04 23:48 aliases
-rw------- 1 root root 144 2002-01-18 13:43 at.deny
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 162 2006-09-22 23:24 aumixrc
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 28 2006-09-22 23:24 aumixrc1
....
..
....

List directory names only:
$ cd /etc
$ ldir

Sample outputs:

drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 2006-09-22 16:41 alsa
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2006-09-20 20:59 alternatives
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 2006-09-22 16:41 apm
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2006-09-07 02:51 apt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2006-09-08 01:46 bash_completion.d
....
.....
.

Use find command to list either files or directories on Linux

The find command can be used as follows to list all directories in /nas, enter:

find /nas -type d
find /nas -type d -ls
find . -type d -ls

Sample outputs:

1070785 8 drwxrwxrwt 8 root root 4096 Jul 5 07:12 .
1070797 8 drwx------ 2 root root 4096 Jul 4 07:22 ./orbit-root
1070843 8 drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 16 18:55 ./w
1070789 8 drwxr-xr-x 10 root root 4096 Jun 17 14:54 ./b
1071340 8 drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 16 18:55 ./b/init.d
1071581 8 drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jun 16 18:55 ./b/bind
1071584 8 drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 16 18:55 ./b/bind/bak
1071617 8 drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jun 16 18:55 ./b/fw
1071628 8 drwxr-xr-x 8 root root 4096 Jun 16 18:55 ./b/scripts

Pass the -maxdepth 0 to limit listing to the starting-points i.e. the current working directory only:
find /path/to/dir -maxdepth 1 -type d
find . -maxdepth 1 -type d
find . -maxdepth 1 -type d -ls

Listing only directories using the find command in Linux
Listing only directories using the find command in Linux

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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