limit to number of files seen by ls?

John Almberg jalmberg at
Sun Jul 26 18:24:35 UTC 2009

On Jul 26, 2009, at 4:45 AM, Mel Flynn wrote:

> On Saturday 25 July 2009 23:34:50 Matthew Seaman wrote:
>> It's fairly rare to run into this as a practical
>> limitation during most day to day use, and there are various  
>> tricks like
>> using xargs(1) to extend the usable range.  Even so, for really big
>> applications that need to process long lists of data, you'ld have  
>> to code
>> the whole thing to input the list via a file or pipe.
> ls itself is not glob(3) aware, but there are programs that are,  
> like scp. So
> the fastest solution in those cases is to single quote the argument  
> and let
> the program expand the glob. for loops are also a common work around:
> ls */* == for f in */*; do ls $f; done
> Point of it all being, that the cause of the OP's observed behavior  
> is only
> indirectly related to the directory size. He will have the same  
> problem if he
> divides the 4000 files over 4 directories and calls ls */*

H'mmm... I haven't come back on this question, because I want my next  
question to be an intelligent one, but I'm having a hard time  
understanding what is going on. I'm reading up on this, and as soon  
as I know enough to either understand the issue, or ask an  
intelligent question, I will do so...

Thanks for all the comments...

-- John

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