Curious Sunday Morning Linux File System Question ??

Alan Cox alan at
Mon Mar 12 12:15:38 UTC 2007

On Mon, 12 Mar 2007 17:35:53 +1300
"Shams" <shams at> wrote:

> Hi,
> My question would be:
> Is it the kernel or the shell and other user land program eg. bash,
> ls, rm responsible for hiding the dotted files?

It's something ls chooses to do.

> Historically:
> Now why is this not just a attribute (like the evil OS Windows does)
> or permission of the file instead of using obsure file names ie. the dot
> prefix to hide the file?

The dot convention goes back to the earliest days of unix (early 1970s)
long before file attributes were in use on Unixlike systems. In addition
putting the smarts in ls means you can change them, and stuff like NFS
just works.

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