How To View Permissions Linux

When interacting with a Linux system, it’s essential to understand how file permissions work. File permissions determine who can read, write, or execute a file. In this tutorial, we will show you how to view file permissions in Linux.

What are Linux File Permissions?

Every file or directory in Linux has three types of owners – User, Group, and Others. Each owner has three types of permissions – Read (r), Write (w), and Execute (x). Therefore, the file permissions are a set of nine characters (rwxrwxrwx), and each triplet refers to – User (owner), Group (members), and Others (anyone).

How to View Linux File Permissions?

You can view the permissions of a file or a directory by using the ls -l command in the terminal.

This is how you do it:

    ls -l

The command will output a list of files and directories along with their details in a long format. The first column of the output shows the file permissions.

For example, you may see something like this:

    -rw-r--r-- 1 user group 4096 Mar 22 16:12 example.txt

In this example, -rw-r–r– represents the file permissions. The first character is a dash (-), which means it is a regular file. The next three characters rw- are the permissions for the user – read and write. The next three characters r– are for the group – read only, and the last three characters r– are for others – read only.


By understanding how to view and interpret Linux file permissions, you can better manage your files and directories, ensuring the right level of access for different users. Remember, the key to effective file permissions management is understanding the ls -l command output.

Happy Linuxing!