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I have a directory brothers which contains files John.txt and Max.txt. I can cd into and out of directory brothers with no problems. However, when I'm in brothers superdirectory (one level up) and I use the command ls -l it prints the following:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 128 Jun 26 13:59 brothers -> filePathHere

As you can see from the first letter of the above output, the command ls -l thinks that brothers is a file rather than a directory. Shouldn't the first letter be a d (it shows a d for all of my other directories)? How can I fix this?

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Lots of misinformation above. "l" represents a soft link. Hard links don't show up any differently than normal files in the "ls" command. And, soft links to a directory can be made by any user. – Kent Jul 8 '13 at 23:12
@gnometorule l does not mean hard link, it just means link. Any user can create a soft link to a directory. – terdon Jul 9 '13 at 2:20
Thanks for clarifying! I was careless, and will delete the comment; just adding this to not let your correction hang in the air. – gnometorule Jul 9 '13 at 4:07
up vote 2 down vote accepted

To quote the man page of ls:

l = The entry is a symbolic link, and either the -N flag was specified or the symbolic link did not point to an existing file.

And for further reference d denotes a directory and - denotes an ordinary file.

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'brothers' is a special type of file called a symbolic link. It's similar (though there are some differences) to a shortcut in Windows. when you cd to 'brothers', you're actually going to 'filePathHere'.

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what Nosrettap is seeing is a soft link and not a hard link. Symbolic links or soft links, unlike hard links, points to filename, not file data itself. – user555 Jul 8 '13 at 23:04
corrected. Thank you. – Jim G. Jul 8 '13 at 23:18

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