Linux: View Directory as Tree

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The command tree prints a dir in a visual tree format, similar to pstree for processes.

to install:

sudo apt-get install tree

For example, here's a tree view of /etc/X11 dir.

linux tree x11 dir screenshot 2013-05-24
screenshot of Linux tree command.

Tree view is useful, for example:

Useful Options

Here's some of the most useful options.

-f
Show full path.
-L level
Specify depth.
-P pattern
Using wildcard to match file names to limit listing. For example, -P '*html' to show only html files. Note: this will still show directories even if it doesn't contain matching file.
-d
Show dirs only.
-r
Reverse order.
-t
Sort output by last modification time.
--dirsfirst
List dir before files.
--filelimit n
Don't go into dir that's more than n files.
-F
Display file type indicator. For example, “/” for dir, “*” for executable, etc.
-p
Show file perm and type.
-h
Print file size in human readable format.

See man tree for more options.

Another useful command is du. See: Linux: Show Directory Size: du .

Linux Shell Basics

Sys Admin

Bash/Terminal

Linux Desktop