Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have noticed that some of my files have an asterisk at end.

Does the asterisk at the end have any particular significance? I think they are mostly executable and displayed in green by the ls command.

You will see that ./bkmp* and ./bkmp0* have an asterisk at the end. They are executable bash scripts.

Here's my output:

drwxr-xr-x 7 username username  4096 Oct  2 18:28 ./
drwxr-xr-x 8 root     root      4096 Oct  2 09:25 ../
-rw-r--r-- 1 username username  3724 Sep 22 03:06 .bashrc
-rwxr--r-- 1 username username   319 Sep 22 03:42 .bkmp*
-rwxr--r-- 1 username username   324 Sep 29 23:30 .bkmp0*
drwx------ 2 username username  4096 Sep 17 13:52 .cache/
-rw-r--r-- 1 username username   675 Sep 17 13:37 .profile
drwx------ 2 username username  4096 Sep 22 10:10 .ssh/
drwx------ 2 username username  4096 Sep 24 19:49 .ssh.local/
drwxr-xr-x 2 username username  4096 Sep 22 04:10 archives/
drwxr-xr-x 3 username username  4096 Sep 24 19:51 home/
-rw-r--r-- 1 username username 27511 Sep 24 19:51 username_backup.20120924_1908.tar.gz
share|improve this question
for more clarity , could you provide the output ? – Raja Oct 2 '12 at 17:19
here is a similar question on Super User site. – Anwar Shah Oct 2 '12 at 17:56
on a side note echo * has the same output as ls – tox123 Jul 4 at 1:59
up vote 24 down vote accepted

If you are just using ls with no arguments, it appears that you are using an alias for ls. To get the same output, I need to use ls -lF. From the ls manpage:

-F, --classify
          append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries

-l     use a long listing format

The symbols mean the following:

/: directories
@: symbolic links
|: FIFOs
=: sockets
*: executable files

To test if you are using an alias, use alias ls. Mine (which is the Ubuntu default) says:

$ alias ls
alias ls='ls --color=auto'

More information on using aliases can be found here.

share|improve this answer

Those files are indeed executable. It's because you have (or your .bashrc file has) specified the -F option. Unfortunately the manpage is not very clear on this:

-F, --classify
    append indicator (one of */=>@|) to entries

But as far as I know * is for executables, / for directories, = for sockets, > for doors, @ for symbolic links, | for FIFOs and nothing for regular files.

Also, the colour green is because you have (or your .bashrc file has) specified the --color option.

share|improve this answer

Looks like your ls is configured to denote executable files.

Maybe your ls is aliased with something extra. check

alias ls
share|improve this answer

I am thinking like they are executables and they starts running if you start your system . something like startup scripts .

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.