Bin/ls vs ls

Is there any functional difference between bin/ls vs ls? In what instance might we use one over the other?

Thanks!

Typically /bin/ls etc. would be the actual binary files for commands (these are generally the system binaries), bin being “binary” or “binaries” shortened.

You can use the ls command on its own but it always runs that binary file anyway. This is possible because /bin is probably on your PATH which allows you to run these files without specifying the full file path.

Thank you for clarifying!
Just curious, if I was not working from my PATH would I then have to specify the location using /bin/ls?

Also, on a somewhat related note, I came across this LANG=en_US.UTF-8 when exploring binary files and am having a hard time understanding what it means. In the context of binary files, which I understand to be the ‘backend’ of actual files, what does UTF-8 mean?

In standard use I think it’d be unlikely you’d ever not have /bin on your PATH (maybe if something went wrong) but you should still be able to run any files with the full location. This includes your own but a lot of things rely on $PATH so it’ll likely wind up in a bit of a mess.

The UTF-8 part specifies is a well-known and well supported text encoding-

Perfect! Thanks for this