show application lets users view the names of files and directories on a disk with information about the files. Files can be copied, moved, viewed, and edited (in your system’s default editor). The application is run using the show command. The output is similar to the
The screen is devided into three parts. The first is the command bar which displays the functions available, their hotkeys, and aditional prompts when requested. The commands are described in more detail in the commands and global commands sections.
The second part is the middle of the screen between the top and bottom rows. This displays information for the files and directories and is known as the display window. The top three rows of the display window are header lines which identify the information being displayed in each column, the number of objects in the current directory, the total space used by the files in the current directory, the remaining disk space on the mounted partition the directory resides, and the current path. Each line gives the object’s permissions, hard links, the owner and group information, size of the object, date and time of the last modification, as well as the name of each file or directory.
The third part is known as the function bar, each function can be accessed by its numeric function key. The functions are described in more deatail in the functions section.
Command line arguments¶
The following options are shared with
- Displays extended atributes keys and sizes (macOS only).
- Does not ignore files or directories starting with
..objects are never hidden due to their navigational functions in
showunless the ‘-d’ flag is passed which results in only
- Prints the author of the file in the output.
- Scales sizes by SIZE when printing them; e.g., ‘–block-size=M’
- Hides files ending in
~, often used as backup files.
- Sets colorizing of files and directories. Can be set to
- Lists the current directory only, not its contents.
- Does not sort the output, this is equivilent to running
- Sets the Time/Date format to
- Only displays the group of each object. Can be paird with
- Omits the group of each object in the output.
- Displays the file sizes in a human readable format. For example, 1024 Bytes will be represented as 1M.
- Prints the index number of each file
- As above, but uses powers of 1000. (1000 = 1m)
- Show numeric values for user and group IDs.
- Reverse the order of sorting. Can be paird with
- Displays file sizes in blocks.
- Sorts files and directories by size, largest first.
- Time/Date format. Can be set to
- Sorts by modification time, newset first.
- Displays output in the order they’re found.
- Shows the secuirty context of each file, if one is defined.
- Only shows the file name on display.
- Displays help message, then exits.
- Displays program version, then exits.
The following options are specific to
- Displays only directories, not files.
- Color themes. Passing this argument without an option will display available themes.
- Disables the danger color scheme when running with elevated privileges.
- Displays information about marked files. Can be set to
- Doesn’t display files using
sf(if installed) and defaults to the user’s PAGER setting.
- Sets the enter key to launch the show command instead of moving the selection down by one.
- Checks for parent instances of
show, this is useful when using the Run Command option.
showdirectly into the settings menu.
showdirectly into the theme editor. (colors)
- Sets the highlighted item to the first object that isn’t
Several commands are provided which can be used on a single file or multiple files. These commands provide a lot of the functions supported by standard Unix commands, but in a convenient user interface. The file to be operated on is selected by navigating the cursor on the line of the desired file. The highlighed (first character) of the command is used to invoke its function. Multiple files can be selected using the “Mark/Unmark” function. The following is a list of valid commands and a brief description of each.
- Copy file or marked files to a specified destination.
- Delete file or marked files.
- Invoke the system’s text editor.
- Toggle the visibility of hidden objects.
- Create a link between files or directories.
- Change the owner/group or permissions of files.
- Quit current directory.
- Rename/move file or marked files.
- Show file or directory.
- Change file timestamps.
- Runs files marked as executable.
- Searches and marks files matching a string.
Each of the commands are described in the following paragraphs. If the command has any additional propts, they are also described here.
Copy the selected file, or marked files to another file location. When using this command, only the destination must be specified. The destination file name is requested by one of the following prompts. An empty response to the prompt or the ESC key is used to abort the command. If there are no marked files, a single file copy is requested; otherwise, a multiple file copy is requested.
Copy file to:
Copy multiple files to:
If the destination file already exists, confirmation to replace the file is requested by the following prompt.
Replace file [<file name>]? (Yes/No)
Delete the selected file, or marked files. As this is a destructive process, confirmation is requested by one of the following prompts. If there are no marked files, a single file delete is requested; otherwise, a multiple delete is requested.
Delete file? (Yes/No)
Delete file [<file name>]? (Yes/No/All/Stop)
For single files, a “Y” will delete files and anything else will abort the delete file operation. For multiple files, confirmation for all files is requested. A “Y” will delete the prompted file, an “N” will not delete the file, an “A” will delete all the marked files without further confirmation, and an “S” will stop the multiple delete command.
This invokes the default text editor. Please consult the
manpages of your preferred editor for more information. The edit command is set in show’s configuration settings or can utilize the
EDITORenvironment variable. If neither of these have been set, the following message is displayed.
Please set a valid editor utility program command in settings.
To resolve this, set your preferred editor in show’s configuration settings or set the following environment variable your shell’s user preference file.
- This toggles the display of hidden files and directories. This
allows adjustment of the
-aoption whilst in the application. If the currently selected object is hidden by this toggle, the cursor is returned to the top of the directory.
Creates a link to the selected file. The type of link is requested by the following prompt.
Link Type - Hard, Symbolic (enter = S)
Selecting “H” will bring up the following prompt.
Hard link to:
showwill then create a hard link to the selected file at the target specified.
Selecting “S” will bring up the following prompt.
Symbolic link to:
After a location is specified, the following prompt is shown to ask how to link to the target file.
Link Location - Absolute, Relative (enter = R)
Selecting “A” will link to the absoloute file location directly relative to the root directory (/).
Selecting “R” will instruct
showto link to the target file relative to the destination.
Modify the owner/group properties or changes the permissions of an object, or multiple objects. When invoked, the following prompt is displayed.
Modify - Owner/Group, Permissions
On systems with SELinux, the following prompt is displayed instead:
Modify - Context, Owner/Group, Permissions
Selecting “O” will bring up two prompts.
Set Group (owner):
If the names of the owner or group is invalid, an error will be displayed to the user. If the group prompt is left blank, then it will use the value of the owner prompt.
Selecting “P” will bring up the following prompt.
The syntax is a 3 or 4 digit octect. See the
chmodfor further information.
If SELinux is available, then pressing “C” will bring up the following prompt:
Set Context - User, Role, Type, Level, Raw String
Selecting “U”, “R”, “T”, or “L” will allow you to modify individual parts of the security context. Pressing “S” will let you modify the entire secuirty context.
- Closes the current directory currently displayed. The application will return you to the previous directory you were viewing. If there are no previous directory, a blank screen showing the global commands is displayed.
Rename the selected file, or marked files to a new file name. The new file name is requested by one of the following prompts. After a file is renamed, the new file information line is into the list (providing the file has been renamed to the same directory) and the old information line is removed. Files can only be moved to locations on the same mounted partition. An empty response to the prompt or the ESC key will abort the command. If there are no marked files, a single file rename is requested; otherwise a multiple file rename is requested.
Rename file to:
Rename multiple files to:
Will either display the contents of a directory, or open the contents of a file. The show file command is set in show’s configuration but can also utilize the
PAGERenvironment variable. If neither of these have been set, or the command is invalid, the following message is displayed.
Please set a valid pager utility program command in settings.
To resolve this, set your preferred pager in show’s configuration settings or set the following environment variable your shell’s user preference file.
Sets the timestamp of the selected file(s). When selected, the following prompt will be shown.
Set Time - Accessed, Both, Modified (enter = B)
showwill modify both the access and modified times. When one of the options is selected, one of the following prompts are shown.
Set Access Time:
Set Modifed Time:
Set the desired time in one of the following formats:
Hunts the selected file, or marked files containing a regex string. When used with a single file, the selected file will be marked if the string matches. When using multiple files, any files not matching the string will be unselected. Case sensitivity is requested by the following prompt, afterwards the user is asked to input the string to search. To abort at this prompt, the ESC key must be used.
Case Sensitive, Yes/No/ESC (enter = no)
Following this selection, one of the following prompts will be displayed.
Match Case - Enter string:
Ignore Case - Enter string:
Will execute the selected file if it has the execute flag set and the current user running the
showprocess has permission to. Arguments are requested by the following prompt. Unlike other commands, an empty response will execute the file without arguments. To abort at this prompt, the ESC key must be used.
Args to pass to <file>:
The following error is displayed if the file does not have an executable flag, or the user does not have sufficient privileges to run.
Error: Permission denied
Creating parent directories¶
A number of the commands above will display the following prompt to create parent directories if they are not present.
Directory [/path/to/directory] does not exist. Create it? Yes/No (enter = no)
Selecting “Y” will instruct
showto create the missing parent directories required to complete the command.
Selecting “N” will abort the command due to the required parent directories not being available. An error message will be shown.
In order to select objects to be used by the commands described in the previous section, the cursor must be moved to the line of the desired object. The functions to move the cursor and the list of files in the display window are described here. A list of the valid functions and their associated function keys is given list.
- Page Down
- Page Up
- Top of List
- Bottom of List
- Refresh Directory
- Mark/Unmark File
- Mark All Files
- Unmark All Files
- Sort List
- Block Mark
- Top of Display
- Bottom of Display
- Down one line (
RETURNcan be repurposed to be the
Showcommand using the
- Up one line
- Right one column
- Left one column
- Global Commands
The display functions with their associated key assignments are described here.
F1, PgDn: Scroll the display window down or forward a page on the list of files. The cursor is left in the same relative row of the window unless the end of the list is reached. If the last file of the list is already displayed in the window, the list is not scrolled, but the cursor is placed on the last file in the list.
F2, PgUp: Scroll the display window up or backward a page on the list of files. The cursor is left in the same relative row of the window unless the beginning of the list is reached. If the first file of the list is already displayed in the window, the list is not scrolled, but the cursor is placed on the first file in the list.
Top of List
F3: Display the beginning of the list of files in the window and place the cursor on the first file in the list.
Bottom of List
F4: Display the end of the list of files in the display window and place the cursor on the last file of the list.
F5: Rereads the directory. This function is useful to update the list of files after several new files have been created or updated outside of the application.
F6: Toggle the file mark on the current file. The file mark is indicated with an “*” in front of the file name.
Mark All Files
F7: Set the file mark on all the files but not directories in the list.
Unmark All Files
F8: Remove the file marks from all files in the list.
F9: Normally, the file list is sorted by file name alphabetically. This function allows the files to be listed based on another sorting criteria which is requested by the following promt.
Sort list by - Date & time, Name, Size
The option is selected by using the first letter of the option name.
Date & time: Sort the list on date and time so the newest files are at the top of the list.
Name: Sort the list on the file name.
Size: Sort the list on file size so the largest are at the top of the list.
Using SHIFT whilst selecting an option performs that action in reverse order.
F10: Marks all files between two points. Files marked will be indicated with an
*in front of them.
Top of Display
HOME: Move the cursor to the first file on the current display.
Bottom of Display
END: Move the cursor to the last file on the current display.
Down One Line
Down Arrow, Return: Move the cursor down one line to the next file in the display. If the cursor is on the bottom row of the window, the window is scrolled down one line. If the present line is the last file in the list, the cursor is not repositioned.
Up One Line
Up Arrow: Move the cursor up one line to the next file in the display. If the cursor is on the top row of the window, the window is scrolled up one line. If the present line is the first file in the list, the cursor is not repositioned.
Right one column
Right Arrow: Moves the display area one column. This occurs when an entry rolls off the edge of the display. Scrolling will stop at the end of the longest entry.
Left one column
Left Arrow: Moves the display area one column.
ESC: Invoke the global commands described in the next section. This allows another directory to be displayed without terminating the current display.
When a file group display is terminated with the Quit command, one of the following commands can be used to display another group of files, invoke the editor for a fire, or terminate the application completely. The first character of the command is used to invoke the desired function. The command line is shown below.
cOlors, Config, Edit file, Help, Make dir, Quit, Run, Show dir, Touch file
These commands are desctibed below.
- Launches an inbuilt color configuration utility which cusomizes the colors for the various display areas in all the utilities. Further information can be found in the colors section.
- Launches show’s configuration menu. From here, all aspects of
showcan be configured, and settings saved so they will persist between sessions. Further information can be found in the configuring show section.
Invoke the default text editor to edit the specified file. The file name is requested by the following prompt. An empty response is used to abort this command.
Edit File - Enter pathname:
- Launches the
Make a new directory. The directory name is requested by the following prompt. An empty response is used to abort this command.
Make Directory - Enter pathname:
- Invoke your shell. The
showapplication is still resident, so the “exit” command will return to the application.
Invoke the application to display another directory. The directory name is requrested by the following prompt. An empty response is used to abort this command.
Show Directory - Enter pathname:
Updates the timestamp of a specified file requested by the following prompt. If the file doesn’t exist, it will be created.
Touch File - Enter pathname:
The following prompt is shown to ask if the time should be set to a specific date.
Set Time? Yes/No (enter = N)
Selecting No will set the file’s access and modification time to the current time.
show features an inbuilt configuration menu where the user can tweak
the default settings. It is accessed from the global menu.
The following screen is displayed.
SHOW Settings Menu - Quit, Revert, Save [ ] Display file colors <-> Show marked file info: <never> <always> <auto> <-> Sorting mode: <name> <date> <size> <unsorted> [ ] Reverse sorting order <-> Time style: <locale> <iso> <long-iso> <full-iso> [ ] Show hidden files [ ] Hide backup files [ ] Use 3rd party pager over SF [ ] Use SI units [ ] Human readable sizes [ ] Show Inode [ ] Use numeric UID and GIDs [ ] Enter key acts like Show < > Owner Column: <owner> <group> <author> [ ] Show security context of files [ ] Skip to the first object [ ] Display only current directory [ ] Disply only directories [ ] Show allocated size in blocks [ ] Override default editor -> Editor utility program command: vi [ ] Override default pager -> Pager utility program command: more
There are three types of configuration items, each denoted with a different symbol:
Indicates a toggle switch, when active, the switch will display
To toggle a value, press SPACE when the cursor is highlighed over a specific item.
Indicates a single value option, the active item will be highlighted. To change
the value, use either the arrow keys, or SPACE to toggle through each available
Indicates a multi value option, the active items will be highlighted. To change
their values, use the arrow keys to highlight the desired option and press
SPACE to toggle its activation status.
Indicates a free text box. To change the value, press SPACE and edit the value.
When finished, press ENTER to confirm the change. Pressing ESC or setting a
blank value will abort the change.
The following commands can be used within this menu.
Applies changes and either returns to the previous screen.
Reverts settings to their original value from when the settings menu was
Saves settings for future sessions.
The inbuilt Colors utility is used to customize the colors used in
the applications. It is accessed from the global menu of the
The following screen is displayed after launch.
Color number, Load, Quit, Save, Toggle, Use Command lines !-Default Display lines ?-Default Bold Error messages 0-Black Information lines 1-Red Heading lines 2-Green Danger lines 3-Brown Selected block lines 4-Blue Highlight 5-Magenta Text input 6-Cyan Directories 7-Light Gray Symbolic links 8-Dark Gray Orphened symbolic links 9-Light Red Executable files A-Light Green Set user identification B-Yellow Set group identification C-Light Blue Sticky bit directory D-Light Magenta Sticky bit directory - other writable E-Light Cyan F-White Select 0 to F for desired foreground color
Initially, the cursor is positioned beside the “Command lines”
string. The cursor can be moved to each of the display types using
the up and down cursor keys, and each color can be set by using the
number of the desired color. The background color can be set by using
Toggle command. Each of the types of lines are described
- The color of the top and bottom lines of each utility. These lines display the valid command, funcation keys and other global information.
- The color for the main text lines in each utilities’ display.
- The color in which any error messages are displayed.
- The color used to display general information such as the directory header information.
- The color used to display the headings for each column in
- The color used to replace the informationa lines with a warning, such as when running as the root user.
Selected block lines
- The color of the selected block lines of the current file in the
- The color of the command/function keys.
- The color of input text lines.
The following color settings are used when
--color arguement is used.
They are used to differentiate object status:
Orphened symbolic links
Set user identification
Set group identification
Sticky bit directory
Sticky bit directory - other writable
After each of the colors have been changed to the desired color, the
theme must be saved with the
Save command. All the commands are
Loads a theme file so it can be modified or used. The following promt requests the data file name.
Load Colors - Enter file pathname:
- Quit the color modification utility and return to
Save the theme information in a data file for use by all the utilities. The following promt requests the data file name.
Save Colors - Enter file pathname:
- Switches between foreground and background selection.
- Sets the theme as the default to persist between sessions. The current theme needs to be saved before this command can be used.