Nate Eagle

Front-End Developer

Save directory-specific ls settings

One of the nice things OS X does is retain way you sort individual directories. This helps the Downloads folder, in particular, which I always want sorted reverse chronologically by date modified so that I can see what I just downloaded at the top.

I wanted my shell to do something similar: I changed my ls command to check for the existence of an .lsrc file in the current directory. The .lsrc file should be nothing but a set of arguments to be passed to the ls command. For example, my ~/Downloads folder has this .lsrc:

  • -l: use a long listing format
  • -t: sort by modification time
  • -r: reverse order while sorting

Then I added this function to my .zshrc file:

ls() {
    if [[ -f ./.lsrc ]]; then
        /bin/ls `cat .lsrc` $*
        /bin/ls $*

The ls command works normally everywhere else, but anywhere I want it to have specific default behavior, I just drop an .lsrc file.