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What does the @ in ls -al mean?

When doing an ls -l some files are tagged with "@" like this:

-rw-r--r--@ 1 master staff 2074042 Feb 3 19:26 openssh-5.1p1-vs-openbsd.diff

What does that mean?


1 Answer 1


They are extended attributes. ls -l@ shows them (mostly they are flags to indicate that the file is coming from the internet, in those cases, when opening the file (or installing a DMG) MacOS will ask if you really want to open it). The xattr command allows you to change them.

There is another one too. ls -lO (upper case O) shows the flags set via chflags command. ls -lO@ shows the file in it's full glory.

  • I was sure I had chcked "man ls" duh
    – Nicholaz
    Feb 7, 2010 at 20:57
  • Personally, I use ls -lOa@ehTi. I like to just go for it... Oh yes, and even displaying all this information, the shell still runs circles around the Finder. Have to wonder what it's doing. :o Jun 24, 2015 at 19:56

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