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I wonder if there is a tool that will list file / directory (i.e. take a snapshot of the folder and file structure) like the following:

audio
  mp3
    song1.mp3
    some other song.mp3
  audio books
    7 habits.mp3
video
  samples
    up.mov
    cars.mov

in other words, in a tree structure.

The Unix command ls -R or ls -lR can do something similar, except it won't list it indented in a tree structure

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3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

In both Windows and Linux there is a command called tree.

In windows, the tree command (or tree /A /F) creates something like this:

├───plugins
│   ├───dbcopy
│   │   └───util
│   ├───mssql
│   │   └───gui
│   ├───oracle
│   │   └───gui
│   ├───refactoring
│   │   └───gui
│   └───sqlscript
│       └───prefs
└───test

In Ubuntu 10.04 you have to install tree with sudo apt-get install tree

In linux it looks like this (tree -a /)

|   |       |-- graphics
|   |       |   `-- fbcon
|   |       |       |-- cursor_blink
|   |       |       |-- power
|   |       |       |   `-- wakeup
|   |       |       |-- rotate
|   |       |       |-- rotate_all
|   |       |       |-- subsystem -> ../../../../class/graphics
|   |       |       `-- uevent

These are just small snippets of the tree.

For Mac, you could install the tree command following the instructions at this SuperUser.SE answer if you desire the same functionality.

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If you want to save it to a file (at least in Windows), you can use the /A switch and redirect to a file (tree /A /F > tree.txt), but that only uses ASCII characters. Alternatively, you can use Unicode by redirecting to an RTF file, opening it in Word, and converting from "Encoded Text" with MS-DOS encoding. In that case, the command is tree /F > tree.rtf. –  Pat Feb 21 '11 at 16:03

For Windows there is tree /f

By default, tree just displays directories. The /f option displays files within each directory as well.

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Just for completeness: On Mac OS X, this program tree is available through fink: fink install tree. (Probably available through MacPorts as well.) Of course you can also just download the source and compile it yourself.

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Yes - it is available in MacPorts too. –  dtlussier Sep 20 '10 at 13:29

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