- d l b c and . ..


So I was just looking around the files on the file system that branch off of / and when typing ls -l to look at the contents of the file there are some letters next to the permissions.

-rwxrwxrwx - = file
drwxrwxrwx d = directory
lrwxrwxrwx l = link ( I think)
brwxrwxrwx. b = It seems to associated with partitions
crwxrwxrwx c = No clue what this one is

Anyone know what the b and c stand for?

I was also trying to enter the . and .. directories under /. It wouldn't let me get into . and .. seems like it would be impossible to get into because cd .. takes you back to the previous directory.


Well-Known Member
. and .. are relative paths, so /. and /.. (which mixes an absolute path / with a relative path .. ) are invalid paths.

b is a block file - which could be a device of some kind, or a partition on a device. Disk drives/partitions are typically block devices.

c is a character file - again certain devices are listed as character files

C is a high-performance contiguous character file.

You can see the meanings of these and several more using the info command:
info coreutils ls invocation
Then navigate to the “what information is listed” page.

All of the official GNU userland tools that are managed/maintained by the GNU project have brief documentation in their man pages and much more detailed information in their info pages.

So the man pages for GNU tools are good for quick reference, but the info pages typically provide much more detailed documentation.

Many other 3rd party tools only provide one, or the other. But the GNU tools typically contain both.