Linux File Permissions


Updated 2022-08-15

Most of this was cribbed from

You can get an output of permissions on a file or directory by passing the -l flag to the ls command: ls -l

Output looks something like this:

-rwxrw-r-- 1 abhi itsfoss 457 Aug 10 11:55 agatha.txtCode language: CSS (css)
  • File type: Denotes the type of file. d means directory, – means regular file, l means a symbolic link.
  • Permissions: This field shows the permission set on a file. I’ll explain it in detail in the next section.
  • Hard link count: Shows if the file has hard links. Default count is one.
  • User: The user who owns the files.
  • Group: The group that has access to this file. Only one group can be the owner of a file at a time.
  • File size: Size of the file in bytes.
  • Modification time: The date and time the file was last modified.
  • Filename: Obviously, the name of the file or directory.


  • r : Read permission
  • w : Write permission
  • x : Execute permission
  • – : No permission set

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