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How to Show Hidden Files in Ubuntu and Other Linux Systems

Just like in Windows, you can have hidden files and directories are present in Linux systems. These are files that exist in the directory structure but cannot be seen without special options to commands. So, this is how to show hidden files in Ubuntu and Other Linux systems.

When you are in the terminal of your Ubuntu system you can use the ls command to list the files in your current directory. Using this command as is will show a list of files and directories excluding the hidden ones. To show the hidden files use this command.

$ ls -a

In the output, the hidden files and folders will be denoted by the dot (.) before their names.

myuser@ubuntu:/$ ls -a
.   bin   dev  home  lib32  libx32      media  opt   root  sbin  srv  tmp  var
..  boot  etc  lib   lib64  lost+found  mnt    proc  run   snap  sys  usr

If you use Ubuntu or other similar Desktop Linux, you can still see the hidden files and directories. This can be done by opening the File Manager then using the “Ctrl+H” keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu.

Show Hidden Files Ubuntu

The “Ctrl+H” keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu will toggle the visibility of the hidden files and directories therefore the same command can be used to hide hidden files in Ubuntu.

How to hide files or folders in Ubuntu

To hide a file or folder in Ubuntu is quite simple. Just rename the target file by prepending a dot before its file name.


$ sudo mv myfile .myfile

On Linux Desktop, right-click on the file or directory icon and choose the rename option, then add the dot before the name.

Bonus: Show Hidden Files in Ubuntu in Bulk

if you create a .hidden file and add the names of the directories in this file, those directories will be hidden from view when you close your file manager and open it again. This is true only for objects within the current directory and will not propagate to other sub-directories.

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