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It's my understanding that ls the Linux command for listing files, but both my distros (Debian and Fedora) have the dir command as well. I can't tell any difference between the two in the man pages. What is the difference between ls and dir, if any?
Short Answer : None, dir is an alias of ls, ls have --color by default
it's giving you convenience only, if you are switching back and forth from Win to Lin and if the thing that is on the top of your head is dir since you are in Windows the moment you switch to Linux chances dir still on your mind, so you might type it also.
The man pages for each show that they are both written by Richard M. Stallman and David MacKenzie.
The only differences in the man pages is that any reference to "ls" is replaced with "dir".
So, although they are distinct binaries, it appears that they are likely the same code.