Eza: A Modern Replacement of the ls Command on Linux (Install + Use)

Linux TLDR
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Eza is a modern replacement for the traditional command-line program “ls“, offers more features and optimization, and allows you to customize the output as per your preferences.

The distinguishing features that set it apart from “ls” and other listing programs are hyperlink support, mount point information, SELinux context output, status of Git repo, support for “bright” terminal colors, and many smaller bug fixes/changes.

If you’ve been following us for a while, then you might know that we’ve covered an article on the "g” tool, which is also a modern and advanced replacement for the old “ls” command. From my perspective, it offers more features and customization options with easier installation than Eza, so I suggest you try it if you’re looking for an “ls” replacement.

However, you can also read this entire article to find out what Eza has to offer and whether you should make the switch.

Tutorial Details

Difficulty LevelLow
Root or Sudo PrivilegesNo
OS CompatibilityUbuntu, Manjaro, Fedora, etc.
Internet RequiredYes (for installation)

How to Install Eza on Linux

The installation step of Eza varies based on the Linux distribution, so if you are using one of the Linux distributions from this list of supported systems, you can install it from your default package manager.

However, it’s available for installation via the default package manager on most Linux distributions, but if you’re using Debian, Ubuntu, or OpenSUSE systems, you’ll need to follow additional steps, or you can opt for the Homebrew and Cargo methods to easily install it on these systems.

Installing Eza on Debian and Ubuntu Distribution

If you’re running a Debian or Ubuntu-based distribution, you can manually add its repository and signing key, then install it using the default APT package manager.

First, start by updating your system repository information, and then proceed to install the GPG package:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install gpg

Then add the repository, signing key, and install it using the default package manager.

$ sudo mkdir -p /etc/apt/keyrings
$ wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eza-community/eza/main/deb.asc | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/gierens.gpg
$ echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/gierens.gpg] http://deb.gierens.de stable main" | sudo $ tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/gierens.list
$ sudo chmod 644 /etc/apt/keyrings/gierens.gpg /etc/apt/sources.list.d/gierens.list
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y eza

Installing Eza on OpenSUSE

On an OpenSUSE system, you need to first add the openSUSE:Factory/eza repository and then install it using the distributions default Zypper package manager.

$ sudo zypper ar https://download.opensuse.org/tumbleweed/repo/oss/ factory-oss
$ sudo zypper in eza

Installing Eza on Fedora, Arch, Gentoo, Void Linux, and Tmux

If you’re using the supported systems, you can easily install it from the distributions default package manager.

$ sudo dnf install eza                                                                                                                 #For Fedora
$ sudo pacman -S eza                                                                                                               #For Arch
$ emerge --ask sys-apps/eza                                                                                                  #For Gentoo
$ sudo xbps-install eza                                                                                                              #For Void Linux
$ pkg install eza                                                                                                                          #For Tmux

Installing Eza via Homebrew and Cargo

If you have Homebrew or Cargo installed and configured on your system, you can easily install and use it by running the following command:

$ brew install eza                                                                                                                         #For Homebrew
$ cargo install eza                                                                                                                        #For Cargo

How to Use Eza on Linux

After the installation is complete, the “eza” command becomes accessible from the terminal, but executing it directly without any options will give you a plain output.

$ eza


eza command output without any option

To enhance your experience, you need to use it with different available options, and later, you can create an alias of your favorite Eza command syntax.

For the complete list of available options, you can use the “eza --help” command, but it might be overwhelming for a beginner, so I’ve curated the list of commands that I find most useful in the following table.

eza -lDisplay the entries with permissions, size, user, modified date of the file, and directory.
eza -lhDisplay the same output as the “eza -l” command but with a column header.
eza -laDisplay all the files and directories, including the hidden ones.
eza -lTRecursively display the file and directory content in a tree like structure.
eza --icons=always|auto|neverDisplay the entries with icons, but make sure to install Nerd fonts.
eza --hyperlinkDisplay the entries with a clickable hyperlink.
eza --absoluteDisplay the entries with an absolute (or full) path.
eza -lDDisplay only the entries of directories.
eza -ldDisplay only the entries of files.
eza -lBDisplay the file size in bytes.
eza -l --total-sizeRecursively display the size of files and files inside other directories.
eza -lgDisplay the files and directories group.
eza -liDisplay the files inode number.

The following are commands with a pair of options that I find useful, but to dig deeper, you can check out the complete list from the help section and feel free to cross-use each available option.

Final Word

Honestly, I didn’t find this too interesting, and as of now, it doesn’t have much to offer to make me switch from traditional or other modern tools such as “g“. But I’m interested in knowing your opinion. If you’re making the switch, let me know why in the comments.

Till then, peace!

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