Suppose I am extracting a huge file or slowly building up a huge file. Is there a way to have ls -lh "on" much like tail -f, so that I can constantly see the size of the file grow until I decide to terminate it?


ls(1) doesn't have any feature built in to do that, but you can probably get what you want with the more generic watch(1) command.

watch ls -lh will run that ls command every two seconds (by default; see the manual page for details) and show the output nicely.

while [ true ]; do clear; ls -lah /path/to/dir; sleep 30; done
  • 2
    The watch(1) command already does this, don't reinvent the wheel. – MikeyB Feb 3 '12 at 18:55

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