I need to display the permissions details for all the files names in a directory that begin with just "_". I have tried various commands using ls and find and no joy.
ls -l -- -*
The -- indicates that what follows are not command line options.
Based on your update, for underscores you should just be able to do:
ls -l _*
Though the -- option won't hurt (it just won't do anything in that case)
"-" is interpreted as a parameter, but you don't need to suffer, just append the path before the file name or just use ./.
touch ./-badfilename1 ./-badfilename2 ls -l ./-* ls -l /full/path/for/the/file/-* rm ./-badfilename?
And every command will just work (ls, rm, cat, touch etc!).