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How to List Directory Contents in Linux

In Linux, dir (directory), ls (list) command already available to check the list of directory content but apart from this Linux provides vdir (virtual directory) to list directory contents.

The vdir command is used to list information about the files in the Linux/Unix operating system.

  • vdir stands for the virtual directory.
  • The vdir command is similar to ls -l -b command.
  • By default, files are listed in long format and special characters are represented by backslash escape sequences.
  • It sort entries alphabetically if none of -cftuvSUX nor --sort is specified.

Syntax for Linux vdir command

The following is the syntax for vdir command in Linux.

 vdir [OPTION]... [FILE]...

Linux vdir command Options

The following table contains a brief description of options available with the vdir command.

Option Description

-a, --all

It is used to display files having dot(.) in the start of name. basically a hidden file.

-A, --almost-all

do not list implied . and ..


It is used to display the author of each file.

-B, --ignore-backups

It is used to ignore the listing of backup files.

-F, --classify

It is used to append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries.


likewise, except do not append '*'

-i, --inode

It is used to print the index number of each file.

-r, --reverse

It is used to list files in reverse order while sorting.

-R, --recursive

It is used to list subdirectories recursively.


It is used to display help.


It is used to print version information.

Example: Display hidden files in Linux

In the directory hope, a file .dubey.txt is available with dot(.) in the name. This file is a hidden file that cannot be shown without using -a or --all options in the vdir command but when we use these options then it is shown.

vdir command

Example: Display author of the files with -l

In this example, by using vdir -l --author command, we display file with owner details, group details, etc. See the output below.

vdir command

Example: Display files excluding backup files ( ends with ~)

We know that backup files end with a ~ sign, like bfile.txt~ that is a backup file in the current folder and is visible by default. If we want to exclude these files then use -B or --ignore-backups options in the vdir command. See the output below.

vdir command

Example: Display help and exit

In the above option table, only a few important options are given with a description but by using vdir --help command you can explore more options with a description.

Example: Display version information of vdir command

To display the version information of vdir command, use vdir command along with --version option.

vdir command


In this tutorial, we covered how to list directory contents in the Linux operating system using the vdir command with available options and suitable examples. In Linux ls and dir are also available for the same purpose.

About the author:
Pradeep has expertise in Linux, Go, Nginx, Apache, CyberSecurity, AppSec and various other technical areas. He has contributed to numerous publications and websites, providing his readers with insightful and informative content.