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This is the default behaviour of ls

ls /net/nas/data/languages/pypm/sites/rex/free/2.6/*/pool/v/vi/virtual*1.4.4*pypm

How do I make ls print only the basename? Like:

ls $OPTIONS /net/nas/data/languages/pypm/sites/rex/free/2.6/*/pool/v/vi/virtual*1.4.4*pypm

Note: I prefer shell globbing over using find as /net/nas/data/languages/pypm/sites/rex/free contains huge number of files and directories.

share|improve this question
you prefer shell globbing OVER using find when the directory contains lots of files? typo?? – akira Aug 10 '10 at 15:24
I'm guessing that the OP doesn't want a listing of subdirectories, and is unaware of the option of passing -maxdepth 1 to find. – intuited Aug 10 '10 at 16:12
up vote 12 down vote accepted

While xargs -0 is intended to be used for input delimited by \0 (like find -print0), ls has no such option to delimit its output in this way.


ls -1 /path/glob | tr '\n' '\0' | xargs -0 -n 1 basename

would do the trick to convert newlines to nulls along the way. This then allows xargs to work with names that have spaces.

EDIT: added -n 1 to xargs

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This does not work for me: basename: extra operand \033[0m/net/nas/data/languages/pypm/sites/rex/free/2.6/macosx/pool/v/vi/virtual‌​env-1.4.4_macosx_2.6_1.pypm\033[0m'` – Sridhar Ratnakumar Jan 20 '10 at 0:07
@Sridhar: you might need the -n 1 you suggested elsewhere as an option to xargs ? (answer edited) – Steve Folly Jan 20 '10 at 0:35
Although I personally prefer my own answer (as I almost never have to deal with spaces in filenames), I will mark this as the answer for it handles spaces as well. – Sridhar Ratnakumar Jan 20 '10 at 7:36
If the mac version of xargs supports the -d (delimiter) option, you can do ls ... | xargs -d '\n' -n 1 basename. – intuited Aug 10 '10 at 16:14

I use this:

ls | tr '\n' '\n'

It gives a list like:

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This is essentially the same as ls -1 (and coloring disabled), as ls implies those when not writing to a terminal. It looks like you're missing the point a bit, as the issue is stripping the dir name swhen specifying ls path arguments using wild cards. Try ls -d "$PWD/"* | tr '\n' '\n' to see what the actual issue is. – Daniel Beck Oct 8 '12 at 19:45

Found the answer myself .. which is to use the basename command.

ls /net/nas/data/languages/pypm/sites/rex/free/2.6/*/pool/v/vi/virtual*1.4.4*pypm | xargs -n 1 basename
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I would also add a -1 (dash one) to the LS command to ensure that you only get one per line – Roy Rico Jan 19 '10 at 20:00
This wont work if there are spaces in the filenames (see my answer). – Steve Folly Jan 19 '10 at 20:49
ls -1 <path> | sed 's#.*/##'
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AH! Finally something that works with multiple arguments! – Aurélien Ooms Sep 16 '14 at 9:27

ls [optional path]| xargs -0 basename

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-1: ls can't delimit names by \0 which is what xargs -0 is looking for. – Steve Folly Jan 19 '10 at 20:49

awk solution:

ls -1 /path/glob | awk -F'/' '{print $NF}'
share|improve this answer

You said you prefer globbing over find, but did you know that the two are not mutually exclusive? Globbing happens on any command you run, not just ls. For example:

$ export BASE=/net/nas/data/languages/pypm/sites/rex/free/2.6

$ echo $BASE/*/pool/v/vi/virtual*1.4.4*pypm | xargs basename
$ ls $BASE/*/pool/v/vi/virtual*1.4.4*pypm | xargs basename
$ find $BASE/*/pool/v/vi/virtual*1.4.4*pypm -print0 | xargs -0 basename

Notice that the find example can make use of -print0 which handy if your paths contain whitespace (the tr-based solutions mentioned elsewhere work great on normal spaces, but not on files containing actual newlines).

Lastly, if you have access to GNU find, you can also use -printf which avoids the basename call altogether:

$ find $BASE/*/pool/v/vi/virtual*1.4.4*pypm -printf '%f\n'
share|improve this answer
Unfortunately, -printf option is not available in MacOSX version of find. – Sridhar Ratnakumar Jan 20 '10 at 3:02
Good call; apologies for the oversight. I've updated the answer. – Ryan Bright Jan 21 '10 at 23:37

go to the directory where you have all you files and type.

find *.pypm
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OP explicitly declared that he doesn't want to use find. – gronostaj Aug 14 '14 at 18:07
Also, this doesn't even do what the OP needs. (Note: You should use find . -name '*pypm' if at all… just putting the glob next to find achieves nothing – then you could just write ls *.pypm.) – slhck Aug 14 '14 at 18:31

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