I'm playing around with terminal and found stdin@ in /dev. Several questions here.

1) What does an item with an @ symbol at the end of it mean/suggest? When is it used?

2) As the question suggests, it is a link. What command can I use to figure out what this points to?

  • lr-xr-xr-x 1 root wheel 0B Feb 24 01:03 /dev/stdin@ -> fd/0 is the output I get. It points to fd/0? Thanks to @user4556274 I got my answer. But now unsure regarding what fd/0 is. – Mas Mar 6 '17 at 18:57
  1. The @ indicates a symbolic link. Your ls is probably an alias to ls -F (and additional flags). If you unalias ls or explicitly execute /bin/ls you won't see the filetype decorations.
  2. Execute ls -l /dev/stdin to see the target of the symbolic link.
  3. On Linux, /dev/stdin links to /proc/self/fd/0 (/dev/stdin is a link to /dev/fd/0 and /dev/fd is a link to /proc/self/fd). /proc/self is a directory on procfs where the kernel exposes information about the calling process (i.e. each process gets information about itself when it reads from /proc/self). The subdirectory fd contains an entry for each open file descriptor in the process, which is a (somewhat magic) symbolic link pointing to the file that the process has open.
  • Ahh okay that makes sense. In my bash_profile: alias ls='ls -GFh' – Mas Mar 6 '17 at 18:52

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