When you issue the command ls -l, what does the first character of the resulting display represent?

Showing Answers 1 - 15 of 15 Answers

pranab kumar ghosh

  • Apr 4th, 2007

it displays the tolal no of files in the directory
total 80

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  • May 7th, 2007

Whenever ls -l is issued, the first line which appears provided the number of
total files and subdirectories in the particular directory.
From the second line onwards, the first character provides the information if
the particular object is a file (-) or a directory (d).

drwxr-xr-x 2 xyz ppt 96 May 7 01:09 tar1

The first character 'd' depicts that the object 'tar1' is a directory.

-rw-r--r-- 1 root other 323 Mar 23 2004 audit

The first character '-' here depicts that the object audit is a file.

I hope this would clear your doubt.



  • Jan 9th, 2015

File type : A d in the leftmost position indicates a directory. An ordinary file will have a hyphen(-) in the first character position

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  • Mar 23rd, 2015

drwx------ 2 root root 16384 Aug 11 2013 orbit-root

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  • Jul 26th, 2015

If first character appears
d - file is actually a directory
l - link file
s - sticky file
- ordinary file

Tapan Kumar Nayak

  • Aug 24th, 2015

The result is showing, What is the file type (It is a link file/sticky file/ordinary file) and d is showing Directory.


  • Nov 5th, 2015

Show 9 fields like Permission, Link, Owner, Group, Size, Month, Date, Time and File and Directory name.

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sumanthu sundaresan

  • Jan 20th, 2016

First character indicates the permission given for that file

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  • Jan 22nd, 2016

Total no. of disk blocks that occupied by current directory.

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  • Feb 15th, 2016

If you mean the first character of each line, its the file type (- for regular file, d for directory, l for symbolic link, and b or c for block and character devices).

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  • Sep 4th, 2016

It will show the permission of file or directory

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Anupam Kumar

  • Nov 2nd, 2016

Same as Saradara ans
- for normal file like .sh or .txt, d
for directory and l for linked file

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Sagar Mishra

  • Nov 11th, 2016

The first character that will return is either(-) or (d).

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  • May 8th, 2017

First character represent whether it is file or directory or link file .
d--> is directory
- --> is file

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