I input the command:

     $ ls -lasrt

And the output includes (there are more results, these are the ones that confuse me):

   4 drwxr-xr-x 5 tuc40953 stdchem  4096 Jul  3 17:48 ..
   4 drwxr-xr-x 2 tuc40953 stdchem  4096 Jul  5 10:03 .

Could this mean that the last things that were written are in the previous directory?

  • 4
    Your directory is empty
    – Bernhard
    Jul 5, 2012 at 14:21
  • @Bernhard I forgot to mention, there was MUCH MORE output than this alone. I just wanted to find what these specific lines meant. Jul 6, 2012 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


Every directory has a reference to itself, named .. That's a hard link, it actually exists as an entry in the directory itself. Every directory has a reference (again, a hard link) to its parent directory, named ..

What you see is the contents of a directory with no files or subdirectories in it. Since the date on . is July 5, and the date on .. is July 3, something happened in . after it was created, after something happened in .. By "something happened", I mean file or directory creation or deletion.

  • You can use -A instead of -a to avoid having them printed. Jul 5, 2012 at 14:54

This will show you the files sorted by date including hidden files , given the size of blocks of each file.

  • True, but I think the part he was interested in is why there's . and .. Jul 6, 2012 at 0:19

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