DIR [#channel,] device or

DIR [#channel,] [device] (Toolkit II) or

DIR \file [,device] (Toolkit II)


QL ROM, Toolkit II

This command produces a listing to the specified channel (default #1) of all of the files contained on the given device.

The listing gives the name of the device (specified with FORMAT) followed by the number of available sectors/the number of usable sectors; followed by a list of the files in the order they appear on the disk. If you try to get a directory of a ram disk, eg. DIR RAM1_ then the name of the device shown on screen will be RAM1.

If Toolkit II is present, and #channel is a window, a <CTRL><F5> keystroke (pausing output) is generated at the end of each screen full of the listing. You can however also use the third syntax to output the directory to the specified file. If file already exists, you will be given the option of overwriting it. If file doesn’t include a device name, the data default directory is used.

The Toolkit II variant also supports the default data directory, which will be used if no device name is given in device, or if the specified device name would result in the error ‘Not Found’.

If you have Level-2 or Level-3 device drivers, and there are any sub-directories (created with MAKE_DIR) in the given directory, then if you have Toolkit II present, the names of these sub-directories will appear with the suffix ->.

You can then list the contents of these sub-directories by using DIR with the original device name plus the name of the sub-directory. Level-3 drivers take this one step further in that after the name of the disk in the specified device, appears details of the type of disk being read, ie. MS-DOS or QDOS followed by SD, DD, HD or ED to confirm whether the disk is Single Density, Double Density, High Density or Extra Density. RAM disks are listed as QDOS SD.

Example 1

With a cartridge in the left hand microdrive slot,

DIR mdv1_

might produce the following listing in window #1:

QUILL 102/220 sectors

Example 2

If Level-2 device drivers are present,

DIR flp1_

might produce the following:

PSION DISK 1000/2880 sectors

With Level-3 drivers, you would get the same output except the first line would become:

DIR 'flp1_QUILL'

would on both Level-2 and Level-3 drivers, then produce the following output:

PSION DISK 1000/2880 sectors


With the Toolkit II variant, the <CTRL><F5> will be generated even where the channel is a window which has been opened over the network (eg. n1_scr_200x200), which can cause problems as the slave machine will wait for a key to be pressed!

This can be avoided if you have the command FIXPF (provided as part of the QPTR documentation), which will enable you to re-install the ROM variant of DIR.

Alternatively write the directory to a file and copy the file to the host machine, eg.

DIR \ram1_tmp, flp1_
SPL ram1_tmp TO n1_scr_200x200

It is even more sophisticated to use a named pipe instead of the temporary file ram1_tmp for the same job:

SPL pipe_dir TO n1_scr_200x200
DIR \pipe_dir_1000, flp1_


The THOR XVI retains the original QL ROM variant of this command, which does not support the default device, nor does it show sub-directory names.


Unless you have Toolkit II present, the Break key will not have any effect on DIR. Press Break when the listing pauses at the end of a page under Toolkit II (Minerva v1.78+ is supposed to recognise the Break key, but it does not appear to work). The Break key is however recognised in Minerva v1.97 (at least!).


Prior to Toolkit II v2.25, DIR of a Level-2 device driver could cause problems when used inside a TURBO compiled program.


If a directory contains a file with a null string as a name (eg. SAVE flp1_), this file will not be listed on the directory listing. This was used as a form of copy protection on some early QL software, but stops the program from working on a QL with Level-2 or Level-3 Device Drivers as they use this file to store the main directory!


On some versions of Toolkit II, the third variant could cause problems if you supply the name of an existing file to store the directory in, for example:

DIR \ram1_XDIR

if you said ‘N’ when asked if it was OK to Overwrite the existing file - the display would be sent to #0 and #0 would then be CLOSEd!! v2.49 of Toolkit II (and possibly earlier) does not cause any problems but does not report an error. v2.85 of SMSQ/E (and possibly earlier) also has no problems but reports the error ‘Already Exists’.


Some people try to divide up DIRectory listings by creating files such as:

SAVE 'flp1_----------------'

However, DIR will only list the files in the order in which they were created if you are using a virgin disk which has not had other files deleted from it already.


DATA_USE sets the current data default directory, MAKE_DIR creates sub-directories, WDIR allows wildcard names.