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What happens when you type ls *.c

Gustavo Adolfo Mejía
1 min readJun 9, 2020


ls is a command Written by Richard M. Stallman and David MacKenzie. Yes, our favorite Hippe creator of the GNU project.

The philosophy of Unix is that “everything is a file”, and the ls command applies it. This command searches in the directory and list the files founded in a special file named standard output (stdout). Normally this output goes to the screen where we can see it.


ls [OPTIONS] ... [FILE] ...

ls use can use one or more options to customize the selected file(s).


ls use wildcard to customize the output ls *c list all the files with .c extension for example


If the input use the * , ls will select all the files in the directory and if it use *.c it will select all the files that ends with *.c. The next line will show an example of the output of ls vs ls *c


$ ls
lib.c lib.h main.c make o.out usr.c usr.h

ls *c

$ ls *c
lib.c main.c usr.c

ls ignores the lib.h, make, o.outand usr.h files