- List files one per line:
- List all files, including hidden files:
- Long format list (permissions, ownership, size and modification date) of all files:
exa --long --all
- List files with the largest at the top:
exa --reverse --sort=size
- Display a tree of files, three levels deep:
exa --long --tree --level=3
- List files sorted by modification date (oldest first):
exa --long --sort=modified
exa [options] [files]...
exa is a modern replacement for
ls. It uses colours for information by default, helping you distinguish between many types of files, such as whether you are the owner, or in the owning group. It also has extra features not present in the original
ls, such as viewing the Git status for a directory, or recursing into directories with a tree view.
- -1, --oneline
display one entry per line
- -G, --grid
display entries as a grid (default)
- -l, --long
display extended file metadata as a table
- -x, --across
sort the grid across, rather than downwards
- -R, --recurse
recurse into directories
- -T, --tree
recurse into directories as a tree
- -F, --classify
display type indicator by file names
- --color, --colour=WHEN
when to use terminal colours (always, automatic, never)
- --color-scale, --colour-scale
highlight levels of file sizes distinctly
Filtering and Sorting Options
- -a, --all
show hidden and 'dot' files. Use this twice to also show the
- -d, --list-dirs
list directories like regular files
- -L, --level=DEPTH
limit the depth of recursion
- -r, --reverse
reverse the sort order
- -s, --sort=SORT_FIELD
which field to sort by. Valid fields are name, Name, extension, Extension, size, modified, changed, accessed, created, inode, type, and none. The modified field has the aliases date, time, and newest, and its reverse order has the aliases age and oldest. Fields starting with a capital letter will sort uppercase before lowercase: 'A' then 'B' then 'a' then 'b'. Fields starting with a lowercase letter will mix them: 'A' then 'a' then 'B' then 'b'.
- -I, --ignore-glob=GLOBS
Glob patterns, pipe-separated, of files to ignore
ignore files mentioned in '.gitignore'
list directories before other files
- -D, --only-dirs
list only directories
Long View Options
These options are available when running with
- -b, --binary
list file sizes with binary prefixes
- -B, --bytes
list file sizes in bytes, without any prefixes
- -g, --group
list each file's group
- -h, --header
add a header row to each column
- -H, --links
list each file's number of hard links
- -i, --inode
list each file's inode number
- -m, --modified
use the modified timestamp field
- -S, --blocks
list each file's number of file system blocks
- -t, --time=WORD
which timestamp field to list (modified, changed, accessed, created)
how to format timestamps (default, iso, long-iso, full-iso)
- -u, --accessed
use the accessed timestamp field
- -U, --created
use the created timestamp field
- -@, --extended
list each file's extended attributes and sizes
list each file's Git status, if tracked
To display a list of files, with the largest at the top:
exa --reverse --sort=size
To display a tree of files, three levels deep:
exa --long --tree --level=3
exa responds to the following environment variables:
Overrides the width of the terminal, in characters. For example,
COLUMNS=80 exa will show a grid view with a maximum width of 80 characters.
This option won't do anything when exa's output doesn't wrap, such as when using the
Enables strict mode, which will make exa error when two command-line options are incompatible. Usually, options can override each other going right-to-left on the command line, so that exa can be given aliases: creating an alias
exa=exa --sort=ext then running
exa --sort=size with that alias will run
exa --sort=ext --sort=size, and the sorting specified by the user will override the sorting specified by the alias. In strict mode, the two options will not co-operate, and exa will error.
This option is intended for use with automated scripts and other situations where you want to be certain you're typing in the right command.
Limits the grid-details view (
exa --grid --long) so it's only activated when at least the given number of rows of output would be generated. With widescreen displays, it's possible for the grid to look very wide and sparse, on just one or two lines with none of the columns lining up. By specifying a minimum number of rows, you can only use the view if it's going to be worth using.
LS_COLORS and EXA_COLORS
EXA_COLORS variable is the traditional way of customising the colours used by
You can use the
dircolors program to generate a script that sets the variable from an input file, or if you don't mind editing long strings of text, you can just type it out directly. These variables have the following structure:
- A list of key-value pairs separated by
=, such as
- Multiple ANSI formatting codes are separated by
;, such as
- Finally, multiple pairs are separated by
:, such as
The key half of the pair can either be a two-letter code or a file glob, and anything that's not a valid code will be treated as a glob, including keys that happen to be two letters long.
LS_COLORS can use these ten codes:
- di, directories
- ex, executable files
- fi, regular files
- pi, named pipes
- so, sockets
- bd, block devices
- cd, character devices
- ln, symlinks
- or, symlinks with no target
EXA_COLORS can use many more:
- ur, the user-read permission bit
- uw, the user-write permission bit
- ux, the user-execute permission bit for regular files
- ue, the user-execute for other file kinds
- gr, the group-read permission bit
- gw, the group-write permission bit
- gx, the group-execute permission bit
- tr, the others-read permission bit
- tw, the others-write permission bit
- tx, the others-execute permission bit
- su, setuid, setgid, and sticky permission bits for files
- sf, setuid, setgid, and sticky for other file kinds
- xa, the extended attribute indicator
- sn, the numbers of a file's size
- sb, the units of a file's size
- df, a device's major ID
- ds, a device's minor ID
- uu, a user that's you
- un, a user that's someone else
- gu, a group that you belong to
- gn, a group you aren't a member of
- lc, a number of hard links
- lm, a number of hard links for a regular file with at least two
- ga, a new flag in Git
- gm, a modified flag in Git
- gd, a deleted flag in Git
- gv, a renamed flag in Git
- gt, a modified metadata flag in Git
- xx, "punctuation", including many background UI elements
- da, a file's date
- in, a file's inode number
- bl, a file's number of blocks
- hd, the header row of a table
- lp, the path of a symlink
- cc, an escaped character in a filename
- bO, the overlay style for broken symlink paths
EXA_COLORS override those given in
LS_COLORS, so you don't need to re-write an existing
LS_COLORS variable with proprietary extensions.
Unlike some versions of
ls, the given ANSI values must be valid colour codes: exa won't just print out whichever characters are given. The codes accepted by exa are:
1, for bold
4, for underline
31, for red text
32, for green text
33, for yellow text
34, for blue text
35, for purple text
36, for cyan text
37, for white text
38;5;nnn, for a colour from 0 to 255 (replace the nnn part)
Many terminals will treat bolded text as a different colour, or at least provide the option to.
exa provides its own built-in set of file extension mappings that cover a large range of common file extensions, including documents, archives, media, and temporary files. Any mappings in the environment variables will override this default set: running exa with
LS_COLORS="*.zip=32" will turn zip files green but leave the colours of other compressed files alone.
You can also disable this built-in set entirely by including a
reset entry at the beginning of
EXA_COLORS. So setting
EXA_COLORS="reset:*.txt=31" will highlight only text files; setting
EXA_COLORS="reset" will highlight nothing.
- Disable the "current user" highlighting:
- Turn the date column green:
- Highlight Vagrantfiles:
- Override the existing zip colour:
- Markdown files a shade of green, log files a shade of grey:
- "Immediate" files are the files you should look at when downloading and building a project for the first time: READMEs, Makefiles, Cargo.toml, and others. They're highlighted in yellow and underlined.
- Images (png, jpeg, gif) are purple.
- Videos (mp4, ogv, m2ts) are a slightly purpler purple.
- Music (mp3, m4a, ogg) is a deeper purple.
- Lossless music (flac, alac, wav) is deeper than that purple. In general, most media files are some shade of purple.
- Cryptographic files (asc, enc, p12) are a faint blue.
- Documents (pdf, doc, dvi) are a less faint blue.
- Compressed files (zip, tgz, Z) are red.
- Temporary files (tmp, swp, ~) are grey.
- Compiled files (class, o, pyc) are faint orange. A file is also counted as compiled if it uses a common extension and is in the same directory as one of its source files: 'styles.css' will count as compiled when next to 'styles.less' or 'styles.sass', and 'scripts.js' when next to 'scripts.ts' or 'scripts.coffee'.
exa is maintained by Benjamin 'ogham' Sago and many other contributors. You can view the full list at <https://github.com/ogham/exa/graphs/contributors>.