I've tried this and it worked for me, so.... for you:
- when you say it didn't work, what error or output do you get?
- does it fail for any ls or just some directories?
- to find out if there is a general problem with 'tail', you could cat a test file through "tail -n 5" and see if that works
- if tail does not work, try sed
ls -l sort=size | sed -n '3,$p'
ls -l sort=size | sed -n '45,51p'
tip: if you want to know last five lines they quickly pipe through "wc -l" to find out how many lines in output and then set the sed command as appropriate. Sorry this is messy but I am not sed expert and that is what i would do, no doubt sed experts out there will tell us how to use sed to get last x lines?