Understand ls command output in linux

Output of ls command in linux can list content of a directory. It can provide all the files present in the directory as well as all the sub-directories.  In Linux everything is represented as a file. A sample output of ls -lh is given below. In this we can see there are total 4 files and various information about the files is given. In case there is some sub-directory then it will shown with file type as ‘d’.

Sample output of ls command in a linux machine:

ls command

In the below section we will explain about the output of the command. Natively the command is ls, if we use additional parameter like -lh , l will show the output in list format and h will enable the output in human readable format. There are other parameter which we can use in ls which will help in showing output differently.

Output explanation:

Total: show total size of the folder.

File type: First field in the output is file type. If the there is a – it means it is a plain file. If there is d it means it is a directory, c represents a character device , b represents a block device.

Owner: This field provide info about the creator of the file.

Group: This filed provide info about who all can access the file.

File size: This field provide info about the file size. By default the ls -l command give output in bytes.

Other field are self explanatory.

Now permission can be divided into three parts: Owner, Group, Other


r: read permission
w: write permission
x: execute permission

Octal values are used to represent permissions.

4 -> read permission
2 -> write permission
1 -> execute permission

Example: If a file have 764 permission it means owner can do all operation on file, group can do read and write operation on file and other can read only the file

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