Is there a way to check the permissions of the root folder, /? I mean the folder's permissions, not its content's (/var, /usr, etc.) permissions? Running ls /.. shows the content's permissions.

  • Have you tried the -l option: ls -l /
    – slackmart
    Mar 25, 2014 at 0:59
  • 2
    Yes, it shows the contents; I wanted the contents of the outer folder, which doesn't technically exist. The question is already answered anyway.
    – trysis
    Mar 25, 2014 at 1:22
  • Can you please edit your title to not include the text "/root", because web searched for "/root " come here and that doesn't make any sense. Perhaps you could just say (/), and then lower down in the text clarify that you are not referring to /root. Thanks Oct 19, 2016 at 21:02
  • If I did that, people would come here looking for /root folder permissions, which also does not make sense. I'll be damned if I do, damned if I don't.
    – trysis
    Oct 19, 2016 at 22:20
  • -1 Because you have not yet changed the title to simply /, I came here looking for permission of /root (because that's how google works.) Mar 24, 2018 at 1:06

3 Answers 3


You can also use the -d switch of ls:

$ ls -ld /
drwxr-xr-x 28 root root 126976 Mar 20 17:11 /

From man ls:

   -l     use a long listing format
   -d, --directory
          list  directory entries instead of contents, and do not derefer‐
          ence symbolic links

stat -c "%a %n" /

It will give you the permissions.

  • 1
    Thanks, that was fast. stat seems like an interesting, useful command, having read its man page.
    – trysis
    Mar 25, 2014 at 1:02
  • You should use the a switch to see the permissions of . which corresponds to root home.
    – Ramesh
    Mar 25, 2014 at 1:05
  • Yeah, that's what the other answer says, and what I should have thought of. D'oh!
    – trysis
    Mar 25, 2014 at 1:15
  • ha ha. You can accept either of the 2 answers. Both the answers seem to suit what you need :)
    – Ramesh
    Mar 25, 2014 at 1:18
  • Ugh, I wish I could accept both. They're both perfect!
    – trysis
    Mar 25, 2014 at 1:19

Use the -a switch of ls to include hidden files as well as . and .. in the listing and the -l switch for a "long" listing (which includes the permissions, among other information):

ls -la /

The line with a single . in the last column will contain information about the listed directory itself, i.e. /:

drwxr-xr-x 26 root root 4096 Mar 10 15:57 .

However if you only need information about / itself, terdon's answer (using the -d switch) will probably be handier.

  • 1
    @trysis I routinely use ls -blah. It has everything you could possibly want to know about a file or directory.
    – n.st
    Mar 25, 2014 at 1:06
  • 2
    This is not really a very good solution, it will list all files under / when all the OP wanted was / itself. See stat or ls -ld in the answers below.
    – terdon
    Mar 25, 2014 at 2:08
  • 1
    @trysis You might want to accept terdon's answer instead since it's closer to what you originally wanted to achieve.
    – n.st
    Mar 25, 2014 at 3:14
  • 1
    Fair enough, the comment was not so much directed at you as to future users who might see this as the accepted answer and assume it is the Best Way® to do it.
    – terdon
    Mar 25, 2014 at 3:15
  • 2
    . is not necessarily first. The list is sorted lexically. There are several characters that sort before . in many locales. Mar 25, 2014 at 12:12

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