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List only latest file in directory

Posted on 2002-04-17
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hello Experts,

I have a directory with many files in it; it gets a new file written to it daily.  I want do a long list of only the latest file in the directory.  Can this be done?  I prefer to see only one file in my listing, the latest one by creation date.  I would settle for all the files created within the last day. I am running Solaris 2.6

Please reply with any ideas you may have.

Thanks,
believer
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Question by:believer
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Expert Comment

by:jonke
ID: 6947925
How about this:

# ls -t |head -1
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Expert Comment

by:jonke
ID: 6947927
sorry, long list - ls -lt |head -1
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Expert Comment

by:yuzh
ID: 6947938

if you only want the latest file, type in:

  # ls -alrt | tail -1

=====
yuzh
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by:jonke
ID: 6948020
yuzh - thats a bit daft - as you use a -r argument to reverse the order, then tail instead of head ??!!
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Expert Comment

by:yuzh
ID: 6948034
look at the time stamp, we are typing the answer at the same time, the file is not locked when we are typing.
btw, your answer was not appear on my screen when i type it in.

====
yuzh
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by:jonke
ID: 6948047
fair enough!
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yuzh earned 100 total points
ID: 6948048
Be carefull, if you are using the command staight under you home dir, you might end up get:

.sh_history file as you out put,

to play safe use:

ls -alrt | grep -v .sh_history | tail -1
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Author Comment

by:believer
ID: 6948092
Thanks for the replies, here is what I am seeing:

When I use: ls -alrt | tail -1 as yuzh suggested or ls -alrt | grep -v .sh_history | tail -1 as later suggested by yuzh, it gives me exactly what I want !

When I use : ls -t |head -1 as suggested by jonke I get  "total 6896"

Is this because my shell is KSH ?
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by:believer
ID: 6948766
Thanks for your replies jonke and yuzh.
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by:jonke
ID: 6950009
The head -1 part tells it to run only output the first line of the ls -lt command which I didn't check first prints a total output on the first line. Points to Yuzh is fair enough I guess.

Just to help you believer - this is a pipe: "|". It takes ther output of one command and feeds into another command. So, "ls" is a listing. the arguments:

"a" - gives you hidden files (Those with a . in front)
"l" - gives you long listings
"t" - puts them in time stamp order
"r" - reverses that order

All this output is then piped into the head or tail commands with the agument -1 which I'm sure you can work out.

Check out man pages for these commands - man ls.
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by:jonke
ID: 6950043
The head -1 part tells it to run only output the first line of the ls -lt command which I didn't check first prints a total output on the first line. Points to Yuzh is fair enough I guess.

Just to help you believer - this is a pipe: "|". It takes ther output of one command and feeds into another command. So, "ls" is a listing. the arguments:

"a" - gives you hidden files (Those with a . in front)
"l" - gives you long listings
"t" - puts them in time stamp order
"r" - reverses that order

All this output is then piped into the head or tail commands with the agument -1 which I'm sure you can work out.

Check out man pages for these commands - man ls.
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Author Comment

by:believer
ID: 6950585
jonke,

Thanks for the detailed response.  I am aware of the options, man pages and pipe.  I had not used head or tail commands before though.

Thanks also for being a good sport about the points award, the answer from YUZH was a turn-key solution for my question.

God Bless,
believer
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