Suppose you are in a directory that contains many files and many subdirectories.

You want to get a directory listing of all the files beginning with the letter "d". You type

ls d*

and what you get back is mostly files in sub-directories (in particular, files in subdirectories that begin with "d").

How do you list only the files and directory names in your current directory?

5 Answers 5


Ah, I just found it on the 6th reading of the man page. It's the not-so-sensibly named "directory" parameter

ls -d d* 
  • 7
    It took you just 29 seconds to re-read the man page and write up this answer? That's quick :-)
    – balpha
    Aug 19, 2009 at 18:14
  • 1
    Additionally, ls -d d*/ will only show the directories.
    – innaM
    Aug 19, 2009 at 19:00
  • 7
    balpha - I discovered it before submitting the question, then realized that if it took me so long to figure this out, I might as well help a future searcher out and post the q and a here.
    – dggoldst
    Aug 20, 2009 at 12:35
  • 3
    Fair enough; there's nothing wrong with it.
    – balpha
    Aug 20, 2009 at 12:44
  • 1
    And yet, CppLearner, it does indeed work. Try it.
    – dggoldst
    Sep 28, 2013 at 16:51

I believe another interesting solution to be,

ls | grep ^d

Offers the flexibility of regular expressions.

  • 3
    And the complexity of regular expressions! ;-)
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 19, 2009 at 20:02
  • 1
    That is an interesting soln, and I like the idea of using regexs, however, if you add additional parameters to ls it will break. E.g. "ls -l | grep ^d"
    – dggoldst
    Aug 20, 2009 at 12:41
  • True, but not all parameters. ls -a | grep "^\." would print all "hidden" files.
    – Kuer
    Aug 20, 2009 at 13:31
  • other ls flags do not work when using this approach. e.g. ls -ltr | grep ^d doesn't work. while the one suggested in @dggoldst answer does. Mar 12, 2015 at 7:36

find . -maxdepth 1 -name d* -type f

Okay, using find here is a tad of overkill. Just a tad.

  • 1
    But it helped me list all direct directories of a specific user : find /home/ -maxdepth 1 -type d -user www-data. So thanks, and +1
    – Cyril N.
    Sep 4, 2012 at 13:01

ls -ld: It will give the list of directories, without descending into subdirectories.


ls -ld Cust*
This command will provide a listing of the files and directories which start with Cust.


ls -a | grep "^."

ls -a: it will demonstrate all files and folders (hidden files and unhidden files together)

grep "^.": it will filter the result, and it will choose to show you just the files starts with a point.

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