Is exa the better ls?
Make browsing your files more fun.
ls every day. It takes place six in my top ten used commands (calculated over the last 6803 commands):
A command used so often should be a pleasure to use. But the output of
ls is rather dull.
Displaying the content of a folder with
ls -alh looks like this:
You get a lot of information, but it is hard to grasp:
if it’s a file or a directory
the access rights
the user and group (blurred out)
You can distinguish files and folders easily, but the rest is just white text. We could use some colors, and maybe icons?
A better solution.
exa gives you just that. The website says it’s a ‘modern replacement for ls’, and it surely is.
A modern replacement for
You list files hundreds of times a day. Why spend your time squinting at black and white text?
You can install
exa with your package manager:
sudo apt-get install exa
Look at the same folder with
You immediately spot some differences:
access rights are color coded
every column has its own color
icons show what kinds of files you have
special files (
README.md) are highlighted
Already better. But there is more. You do not know what is inside the folders using
exa --tree --level 2 you can see the content of each folder:
There is much more to
exa. Check out all options at its website.
My favorite parameters are:
-lwhich gives you the list view
--iconsto get the icons
--no-userto hide information about the owner
--group-directories-firstto show the directories first
--time-style long-isoto change the date format.
I added an alias to my
.bashrc if you use bash) which overrides
alias ll='exa -l --icons --no-user --group-directories-first --time-style long-iso'
Using this, you get:
This enables me to grasp folder content much faster. I hope you can take advantage of this too.