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.

  • 1
    you prefer shell globbing OVER using find when the directory contains lots of files? typo?? – akira Aug 10 '10 at 15:24
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    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

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

| improve this answer | |
  • 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/virtualenv-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:

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    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
  • -1 – not sure why people keep upvoting this answer. Not only does it do the same thing as ls -1, it also does not work when globs have been used, as Daniel Beck pointed out. – slhck Aug 8 '17 at 12:43
  • -1 - This is the same as ls -1, and only works in the current directory, not with a path like ls path/*. – Brendan Byrd Sep 12 '19 at 15:44
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

awk solution:

ls -1 /path/glob | awk -F'/' '{print $NF}'
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ls [optional path]| xargs -0 basename

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  • 2
    -1: ls can't delimit names by \0 which is what xargs -0 is looking for. – Steve Folly Jan 19 '10 at 20:49

Both GNU basename and FreeBSD basename accept an -a argument allowing you to pass multiple paths to the command. This works great with shell globbing.

basename -a /path/glob*
| 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'
| 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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  • 1
    OP explicitly declared that he doesn't want to use find. – gronostaj Aug 14 '14 at 18:07
  • 1
    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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