ll - macOS


The ll command in macOS is an alias typically used to list directory contents in a formatted and detailed manner. It extends the functionality of the ls command by adding options for long listing (-l) and displaying hidden files (-a). This command is particularly useful in shell scripting and daily command line navigation, providing a quick, readable overview of file and directory attributes such as permissions, ownership, size, and timestamp.


The ll command does not have a syntax of its own since it is an alias. It usually translates to:

ls -l [options] [file...]
  • file: Names of the files or directories to list (optional).


Since ll is an alias for ls -l, it supports all options available to the ls command. Here are some commonly used ones:

  • -a, --all: Include directory entries whose names begin with a dot (.).
  • -h, --human-readable: With -l, print sizes in human-readable format (e.g., 1K, 234M, 2G).
  • -r, --reverse: Reverse the order of the sort.
  • -t: Sort by modification time, newest first.
  • --color=auto: Enables colorized output, which aids in distinguishing file types.


  • Basic Listing


    Lists all files and directories in the current directory, including hidden files, with detailed information.

  • Sorting by Time

    ll -t

    Lists files sorted by modification time, starting with the newest.

  • Human-Readable Sizes

    ll -h

    Display file sizes in a human-readable format.

Common Issues

  • Command Not Found: If the ll alias is not configured in your shell, you might encounter a “command not found” error. You can fix this by adding alias ll='ls -l' to your shell configuration file (e.g., .bashrc or .zshrc).
  • Overwhelming Output: In directories with many files, the output can be cumbersome. Use less to make it manageable:
    ll | less


Combine ll with other commands to harness more complex functionality:

  • Count Files in a Directory:

    ll | wc -l

    This command chain lists all files and then counts them using wc -l.

  • Search for a Specific File Type:

    ll | grep '.pdf'

    Lists detailed information about files and filters for PDF files.

  • ls: Lists directory contents.
  • dir: Similar to ls -l but defaults to columnar output.
  • vdir: Similar to ls -l -b; it produces output in a one-entry-per-line format.

For more details about the options and usage of ls, which directly relate to ll, consult the man page for ls:

man ls