Help clarify the '-l' option of ls(1).

David Robillard davidencavale at
Wed Apr 12 15:47:51 UTC 2006

Hello everyone,

I'd like to have an explication about the '-l' (minus L) option of the ls(1) 
What exactly is the signification of the second column in the display? The 
man page
states that it is 'the number of links'. But what does it mean exactly?

The man page states:

-l      (The lowercase letter ``ell''.)  List files in the long format,
     as described in the The Long Format subsection below.

So we check 'The Long Format' section which says:

  The Long Format
    If the -l option is given, the following information is displayed for
    each file: file mode, number of links, owner name, group name, MAC label
    [output truncated]

Does anyone know any details about this 'number of links' ???

Many thanks,


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