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Finding hidden files

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If you have just gotten an account, and you have not created any of your own files yet, the ls command will not produce any output. This might make it seem that you have no files.

However, there are a number of files present even in a brand-new account. They are said to be hidden files because their names start with a period.

To see these hidden files, enter the command ls -a. Here is an example:

    % ls -a
    .Xdefaults      .cshrc          .login
This output lists three hidden files named .Xdefaults, .cshrc, and .login.

Such files are placed in your account either when it is created or when you first use certain programs. The files contain information about customization of your account and programs. They are hidden so you won't have to look at them every time you use the ls command.

See also: Finding out what files you have
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John Shipman,
Last updated: 1995/12/04 19:39:34 UT
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