File Management in Linux

In Linux, most things are done by working with files. And to organize these files, Linux has what are called directories or folders, which are set up like a tree. But these directories are also files in their own right. There are 3 kinds of files in Linux:

Regular Files:

In Linux, it is the most common type of file. It has files like text files, image files, binary files, and so on. The touch (Note: click here to learn more about touch command) command can be used to make these kinds of files. Most of the files in the Linux/UNIX system are part of them. The regular file has ASCII or human-readable text, program binaries that can be run, program data, and a lot more.


These directories are known as folders in Windows. The list of file names and the pertinent data are kept in these files. The root directory (/) serves as the system’s foundation; other important directories are /bin for essential user binaries, /boot for static boot files, and /home for user home directories (Note: click here to learn more about directories). The mkdir (Note: click here to learn more about mkdir command) command allow us to create new folders.

Special Files:

Special files represents a real physical device that is used for I/O operations, like a printer. On UNIX and Linux systems, device I/O is done with devices or special files. You can find them in a file system just like any other file or directory.

File Listings

The “-l” option provides more details about the files displayed by the “ls” program.

ls -l

Detailed descriptions of each column given below:

1stIdentifies the kind of file and any associated permissions. Here “d” indicates directory and directory file lists files and folders.
2ndIdentifies the number of memory blocks consumed by the file or directory.
3rdIdentifies the file’s creator or owner.
4thIdentifies the group of the owner.
5thIdentifies the file size in bytes.
6thIdentifies the time and date of the last time a file was created or edited.
7thIdentifies the file or the directory name.

Hidden Files

  • Use the following command to list all the hidden files in the system:
ls -a


  • Single dot (.) : Identifies the current directory.
  • Double dot (..) : Identifies the parent directory.

Create, Copy, Move, Delete, Contents

To learn how to create, copy, move, delete and see the contents of a file click here


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