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Old 05-30-2008, 10:56 AM   #1
lostjohnny
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Documentation Explaining the Output of ls Command


Sorry for the very basic question, but I didn't find anything in either man or info that explains the exact meaning of the output of ls, particularly ls -l.

Can someone tell me please where this documentation is to be found?

TIA,

Lost Johnny
 
Old 05-30-2008, 11:01 AM   #2
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostjohnny View Post
Sorry for the very basic question, but I didn't find anything in either man or info that explains the exact meaning of the output of ls, particularly ls -l.

Can someone tell me please where this documentation is to be found?

TIA,

Lost Johnny
Try "info ls" instad of "man ls". The info page is much more complete.
 
Old 05-30-2008, 11:11 AM   #3
stefan_nicolau
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Here's what the info page says

Code:
`-l'
`--format=long'
`--format=verbose'
     In addition to the name of each file, print the file type, file
     mode bits, number of hard links, owner name, group name, size, and
     timestamp (*Note Formatting file timestamps::), normally the
     modification time.  Print question marks for information that
     cannot be determined.

     Normally the size is printed as a byte count without punctuation,
     but this can be overridden (*Note Block size::).  For example, `-h'
     prints an abbreviated, human-readable count, and
     `--block-size="'1"' prints a byte count with the thousands
     separator of the current locale.

     For each directory that is listed, preface the files with a line
     `total BLOCKS', where BLOCKS is the total disk allocation for all
     files in that directory.  The block size currently defaults to 1024
     bytes, but this can be overridden (*Note Block size::).  The
     BLOCKS computed counts each hard link separately; this is arguably
     a deficiency.

     The file type is one of the following characters:

    `-'
          regular file

    `b'
          block special file

    `c'
          character special file

    `C'
          high performance ("contiguous data") file

    `d'
          directory

    `D'
          door (Solaris 2.5 and up)

    `l'
          symbolic link

    `M'
          off-line ("migrated") file (Cray DMF)

    `n'
          network special file (HP-UX)

    `p'
          FIFO (named pipe)

    `P'
          port (Solaris 10 and up)

    `s'
          socket

    `?'
          some other file type

     The file mode bits listed are similar to symbolic mode
     specifications (*Note Symbolic Modes::).  But `ls' combines
     multiple bits into the third character of each set of permissions
     as follows:

    `s'
          If the set-user-ID or set-group-ID bit and the corresponding
          executable bit are both set.

    `S'
          If the set-user-ID or set-group-ID bit is set but the
          corresponding executable bit is not set.

    `t'
          If the restricted deletion flag or sticky bit, and the
          other-executable bit, are both set.  The restricted deletion
          flag is another name for the sticky bit.  *Note Mode
          Structure::.

    `T'
          If the restricted deletion flag or sticky bit is set but the
          other-executable bit is not set.

    `x'
          If the executable bit is set and none of the above apply.

    `-'
          Otherwise.

     Following the file mode bits is a single character that specifies
     whether an alternate access method such as an access control list
     applies to the file.  When the character following the file mode
     bits is a space, there is no alternate access method.  When it is
     a printing character, then there is such a method.

     For a file with an extended access control list, a `+' character is
     listed.  Basic access control lists are equivalent to the
     permissions listed, and are not considered an alternate access
     method.
 
Old 05-30-2008, 12:28 PM   #4
lostjohnny
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Registered: May 2006
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Thanks guys.

Stefan, your reply gives me the information I was originally looking for. However, I was still unable to find this information for myself, because when I use "info ls" and go down to "* What information is listed::" on my system (Fedora Core 6), what it says for the '-l' option is different to what you have posted - it doesn't tell me about the file type characters (output below). Has the info file been improved since the version distributed with FC6?

Code:
`-l'
`--format=long'
`--format=verbose'
     In addition to the name of each file, print the file type,
     permissions, number of hard links, owner name, group name, size,
     and timestamp (*note Formatting file timestamps::), normally the
     modification time.

     Normally the size is printed as a byte count without punctuation,
     but this can be overridden (*note Block size::).  For example, `-h'
     prints an abbreviated, human-readable count, and
     `--block-size="'1"' prints a byte count with the thousands
     separator of the current locale.

     For each directory that is listed, preface the files with a line
     `total BLOCKS', where BLOCKS is the total disk allocation for all
     files in that directory.  The block size currently defaults to 1024
     bytes, but this can be overridden (*note Block size::).  The
     BLOCKS computed counts each hard link separately; this is arguably
     a deficiency.

     The permissions listed are similar to symbolic mode specifications
     (*note Symbolic Modes::).  But `ls' combines multiple bits into the
     third character of each set of permissions as follows:
    `s'
          If the setuid or setgid bit and the corresponding executable
          bit are both set.

    `S'
          If the setuid or setgid bit is set but the corresponding
          executable bit is not set.

    `t'
          If the sticky bit and the other-executable bit are both set.

    `T'
          If the sticky bit is set but the other-executable bit is not
          set.

    `x'
          If the executable bit is set and none of the above apply.

    `-'
          Otherwise.

     Following the permission bits is a single character that specifies
     whether an alternate access method applies to the file.  When that
     character is a space, there is no alternate access method.  When it
     is a printing character (e.g., `+'), then there is such a method.
 
  


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