I noticed that if I run ls -F on a directory, some of the entries have a * or a @ after them.

spuder@ubuntu:~$ ls -F /sbin
acpi_available*   getpcaps*           lvmconf*                 ntfscp*        start-stop-daemon*
agetty*           getty*              lvmdiskscan@             ntfslabel*     status@
alsa*             halt@               lvmdump*                 ntfsresize*    stop@
alsactl*          hdparm*             lvmsadc@    

spuder@ubuntu:~$ ls -F ~
daq-0.6.1/  examples.desktop       noname-cache.lib  snort-2.9.1/   Templates/
Desktop/    jpgraph-1.27.1/        noname.sch        snortfiles/    Ubuntu One/

According to the ls man pages

spuder@ubuntu:~$ man ls
-F, --classify
  append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries

I'm guessing that @ means symbolic link,

What do these other indicators mean ( */=>@| ) ?

  • 2
    Have you thought of looking at the man page? – mdpc Jul 9 '13 at 17:20
  • 17
    He has. In fact, he posted an excerpt from the manpage. The full ls documentation, including information about the symbols displayed by ls -F, is in a Texinfo manual. (info ls). – Smith John Jul 9 '13 at 17:33
  • 1
    On a side note, since Texinfo manuals generally feel strange and foreign, it's common to keep around functions like these: infos () { info --vi-keys --subnodes -o - "$@" | less; }. – Smith John Jul 9 '13 at 17:37
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    @EvanTeitelman This is great information, I will keep info foo --vi-keys in mind. Unfortunately the syntax you mentioned does not work for me (infos () { info --vi-keys...} – spuder Jul 9 '13 at 17:44
  • 1
    @spuder: It's a function; you have to call it. infos ls. The $@ part passes all of the function's arguments to info. You can put this function in your ~/.bashrc file for later use. – Smith John Jul 9 '13 at 17:56
up vote 53 down vote accepted

ls -F appends symbols to filenames. These symbols show useful information about files.

If you want this behavior to be the default, add this to your shell configuration: alias ls='ls -F'.

  • 6
    do not realias commands, it can break badly written scripts. I have aliased l to have -F and colour, and ll to also have -l – ctrl-alt-delor Jun 30 '16 at 11:03
  • On Android I get a completely two column output. I get the filename or directory name and BEFORE the name there is a minus if it is file, or a "d" if it is a directory, or a "ld" if it is a link. It is a disaster that Linuxes are so inconsistent! – Elmue Jun 1 at 16:31

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