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

5 Answers 5


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.

  • ll will do this, as it's an alias of ls -alF. Aug 15, 2019 at 5:23
  • Just a note, if you want to get rid of the alias, type: unalias ls
    – Paul Jones
    Dec 13, 2022 at 10:29

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.


Looks like your ls is configured to denote executable files.


Maybe your ls is aliased with something extra. check

alias ls

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

  • *: Install the package with all dependencies.
  • -d: for access to the service.
  • Are you trying to answer a different question? Thi is neither about installing nor about services.
    – guntbert
    Nov 20, 2021 at 10:22

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