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Tag : command-line  
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Title: Why are . and .. are output as a hidden files when we do ls -a?
ID: /2017/03/05/Why-are-.-and-/Why-are-.-and-..-are-output-as-a-hidden-files-when-we-do-ls-a_
Created: March 5, 2017    Edited:  March 5, 2017
Upload: September 20, 2023    Layout:  post
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In MS-DOS and Windows there are also . and ... Quite simply . represents the current directory and .. represents the parent directory.

MS-DOS was born from CPM operating system when Bill Gates bought rights for $80,000 and licensed to IBM as PC-DOS which turned into MS-DOS which turned into Windows which is predicted to land him a Trillion Dollars in the end.

Linux also uses . and .. as the first file system version was based on IBM PC-AT hardware.

As Serg answered in Linux . and .. don’t appear in ls command because any file beginning with . is a hidden file. You can use the ll alias to see these files though.

In both MS-DOS and Linux you can use cd .. command to change to the parent directory. In Linux when you want to call a command in the current directory (not in the path) you need to prefix the command with ./. In MS-DOS however it will automatically look in the current directory for the command before searching the PATH.

Apple Mac and Google Android are based on the Linux operating system but I don’t know if their file systems also use . and ...

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