Linux: To Recurse or Not


Linux and recursion are on very good speaking terms. In fact, a number of Linux commands recurse without ever being asked, while others have to be coaxed with just the right option.

When is recursion most helpful and how can you use it to make your tasks easier? Let’s run through some useful examples and see.

Easy recursion with ls

First, the ls command seems like a good place to start. This command will only list the files and directories in the current or specified directory unless asked to work a little harder. It will include the contents of directories only if you add a -R option. 

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