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


I believe:

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

  • Could you run alias ls and send the output? Jun 25, 2014 at 10:42
  • Even better type ls (just in case it was a function and not an alias).
    – Hastur
    Apr 23, 2015 at 15:57

3 Answers 3


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

* for executable
/ for directory
@ for symlink
| for fifo
= for socket
  • 3
    @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, 2011 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").

  • 1
    Find out whether ls is aliased using type ls.
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 20, 2011 at 19:52

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

* executable
@ link 
/ directory

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