Linux Redhat/Centos/Debian: How to list files sorted by date/time ?

In this article, we will look how to list files sorted by date or time in Linux.

This is one of the very basic tip which you should know while working on linux terminal.

To sort files by time, we can use the switch “-t” with ls command.

I. Sort files by time: Most recent files on top

## -t shows most recent files on top
[root@ngelinux ~]# ls -lt
total 16
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root   53 Apr  2 16:12 testdir
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    6 Mar 14 20:20 testfile
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  411 Mar 14 12:26 id_rsa.pub
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1968 Mar 13 20:56 initial-setup-ks.cfg
-rw-------. 1 root root 1920 Mar 13 19:38 anaconda-ks.cfg

II. List sorted by date in reverse order: Recent files at bottom of the list

[root@ngelinux ~]# ls -ltr
total 16
-rw-------. 1 root root 1920 Mar 13 19:38 anaconda-ks.cfg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 1968 Mar 13 20:56 initial-setup-ks.cfg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  411 Mar 14 12:26 id_rsa.pub
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    6 Mar 14 20:20 testfile
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root   53 Apr  2 16:12 testdir
[root@ngelinux ~]# 

III. Make the listing more human readable.

[root@ngelinux ~]# ls -ltrh
total 16K
-rw-------. 1 root root 1.9K Mar 13 19:38 anaconda-ks.cfg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 2.0K Mar 13 20:56 initial-setup-ks.cfg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root  411 Mar 14 12:26 id_rsa.pub
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    6 Mar 14 20:20 testfile
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root   53 Apr  2 16:12 testdir
[root@ngelinux ~]# 

IV. List only 10 Files recently modified.

[root@ngelinux ~]# ls -ltr /tmp/ | tail
drwx------. 3 root  root  17 Apr  1 14:43 systemd-private-cfbf76e2384440e38bebb7d8c6d61f9c-fwupd.service-2XY16z
drwx------. 2 saket saket  6 Apr  1 14:52 tracker-extract-files.1000
drwx------. 3 root  root  17 Apr  2 13:45 systemd-private-df394d6313b24205bd1bb698d415a615-rtkit-daemon.service-LGkFdb
drwx------. 3 root  root  17 Apr  2 13:45 systemd-private-df394d6313b24205bd1bb698d415a615-chronyd.service-RsVXSK
drwx------. 3 root  root  17 Apr  2 13:46 systemd-private-df394d6313b24205bd1bb698d415a615-cups.service-uNZxqv
drwx------. 3 root  root  17 Apr  2 13:47 systemd-private-df394d6313b24205bd1bb698d415a615-bolt.service-06XLh9
drwx------. 3 root  root  17 Apr  2 13:47 systemd-private-df394d6313b24205bd1bb698d415a615-colord.service-7tsBn1
drwx------. 2 saket saket 24 Apr  2 14:23 ssh-L5TJApfneTT0
drwx------. 3 root  root  17 Apr  2 14:24 systemd-private-df394d6313b24205bd1bb698d415a615-fwupd.service-FBKi0P
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root  root   6 Apr  2 16:15 Sample Directory
[root@ngelinux ~]# 

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