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For example, if I have a directory containing files file1 and file2, and a directory dir1, then "ls -l file1" will show details just for file1. Doing the same thing for dir1 will instead show the contents of dir1. Is there a way to treat dir1 like file1?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Use ls -l -d dir (-d will make it stop listing the contents of a directory). From the documentation:

-d, --directory

List just the names of directories, as with other types of files, rather than listing their contents. Do not follow symbolic links listed on the command line unless the --dereference-command-line (-H), --dereference (-L), or --dereference-command-line-symlink-to-dir options are specified.

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Merging single-character parameters also works for ls, so ls -ld dir and ls -dl dir and ls -l -d dir all work equally well. –  Trey Hunner May 17 '10 at 7:29
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