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When I do a ls in a folder, I sometimes get entries like:

a.txt*
b.txt
b.txt~

I believe:

~ means that it's a swap copy, however what does the * mean?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 20 '11 at 19:44

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Could you run alias ls and send the output? – Benjamin Goodacre Jun 25 '14 at 10:42
    
Even better type ls (just in case it was a function and not an alias). – Hastur Apr 23 '15 at 15:57

Your ls seems to have an alias to ls -F. It shows the filetype:

* for executable
/ for directory
@ for symlink
| for fifo
= for socket
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2  
@Thariq S: You might notice ~ is not listed here. It is a part of the file name, not just an indicator of type. – choroba Dec 20 '11 at 21:04

It means that the file has execute permission.

See the "-F, --classify" option in the ls(1) man page. Depending on the shell configuration this info may be printed by "default" (say, if you have an alias ls="ls -F").

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1  
Find out whether ls is aliased using type ls. – Daniel Beck Dec 20 '11 at 19:52

ls -F appends a single character to a file name -

* executable
@ link 
/ directory
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