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A faster ls

Terminal - A faster ls
echo *
2009-04-17 21:40:58
User: kFiddle
Functions: echo
A faster ls

Sometimes "ls" is just too slow, especially if you're having problems with terminal scroll speed, or if you're a speed freak. In these situations, do an echo * in the current directory to immediately see the directory listing. Do an echo * | tr ' ' '\n' if you want a column. Do an alias ls='echo *' if you want to achieve higher echelons of speed and wonder. Note that echo * is also useful on systems that are so low in memory that "ls" itself is failing - perhaps due to a memory leak that you're trying to debug.


There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Yes, it'll print all filenames quite fast, all in one line, and the use of tr(1) won't work if there's (ugh) spaces in filenames. Also, mapping ls to "echo *" is not a good idea at all. Too many scripts depend on such a vital command as ls(1) and will break in some way or another. Things stored in /bin/ are essential on a *NIX system and should not be tampered with.

Comment by sunny32768 344 weeks and 4 days ago

This might get you out of a scrape in rare circumstances.. but don't alias it! In addition to the previous posters comments, this *will* fail on directories that contain many files as the wildcard will expand beyond the size of the shell parser's command line buffer.

Comment by animoid 344 weeks and 4 days ago

Too much typing, and what are you gaining really? Is your hardware that slow that you notice the difference?

Comment by atoponce 344 weeks and 4 days ago

Here's what you gain:


real 0m0.007s

user 0m0.000s

sys 0m0.008s

echo *

real 0m0.002s

user 0m0.000s

sys 0m0.004s

echo * | tr ' ' '\n'

real 0m0.008s

user 0m0.004s

sys 0m0.004s

I don't notice it much...

Comment by brie 301 weeks and 4 days ago

Timings using an Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz - Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic 64bit

using bash in gnome-terminal:

ls /usr/lib/

real 0m0.563s

user 0m0.030s

sys 0m0.010s

echo /usr/lib/*

real 0m0.086s

user 0m0.020s

sys 0m0.000s

using bash on first console (the infamous Ctrl+F1)

ls provide 0.25s

echo provide 0.024s

seems that "ls" output time is about 6 times "echo" output time

To me prove that echo is faster than ls in pseudo-pure computational time (in bash on gnome-terminal)...better values on first console (echo is 10 times faster than ls)

I disagree totally about aliasing ls due to it's own obvious conclusion in terms of pipings issues.

I found this solution very interesting when I have to simply parse folder content in term of pure strings.

Comment by LucaCappelletti 301 weeks ago

Your point of view

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