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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.
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