Install exa on Ubuntu 20.04

The exa is a command line tool for displaying a list of files and directories and detailed information about them. The exa can be used as an alternative to the ls command. The exa provides extra set of features. It uses colors to distinguish between file types, allows to view Git status, provides ability to view directory structure as tree, and more.

This tutorial shows how to install exa on Ubuntu 20.04.

Prepare environment

Make sure you have installed unzip package. It will be used to extract exa executable file from a ZIP archive.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y unzip

Install exa

Get the latest version tag of exa release and assign it to variable.

EXA_VERSION=$(curl -s "https://api.github.com/repos/ogham/exa/releases/latest" | grep -Po '"tag_name": "v\K[0-9.]+')

Download zip archive from releases page of the exa repository.

curl -Lo exa.zip "https://github.com/ogham/exa/releases/latest/download/exa-linux-x86_64-v${EXA_VERSION}.zip"

Extract executable file from a ZIP archive:

sudo unzip -q exa.zip bin/exa -d /usr/local

Now exa command is available for all users as a system-wide command.

We can check exa version:

exa --version

ZIP archive is no longer needed, remove it:

rm -rf exa.zip

Testing exa

Run the exa command to view files and directories as a grid:

exa /etc
Files and directories in grid format using exa on Ubuntu

The exa command supports various options. The -l option displays files and directories in long output format. Together with -l option we can use -h option that adds header, -g displays group, -i shows inode number.

exa /etc -lhgi
Files and directories in long output format using exa on Ubuntu

Uninstall exa

If you want to completely remove exa, delete executable file:

sudo rm -rf /usr/local/bin/exa

For environment preparation we needed to install unzip package. You can remove it as follows:

sudo apt purge --autoremove -y unzip

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