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Why could the size of the "dot file" /. exceed 4096?

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – Today I found an "empty" directory with a size of 4MB. It had no visible contents, so I tried ls -lah. This showed me some hidden files (not very large). Searching for the reason why the directory was so large I found that the dot file (.) had a size of 3.9MB. Maybe this is a newbie question, but what gets stored in that file? Isn't that just a kind of link to the same directory? Here is the shell output (anonymized): -bash# more /proc/version Linux version 2.6.18-8.1.15.el5 ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.1.1 20070105 (Red Hat 4.1.1-52)) #1 SMP Mon Oct 22 08:32:04 EDT 2007 (HowTos)