How to see hidden files and folders in Debian

Sometimes we need to hide some files, this can be done for various reasons, for example, when we have important files and we do not want others to see them, or to prevent them from being accidentally deleted, especially when we share our system with other users … Some OS files are also hidden by the OS by default as they are essential to the functionality of the system. Any modification or accidental deletion of these files may result in serious errors or even termination of applications. However, sometimes we need to access these hidden files for troubleshooting or other reasons. In this article, we will explain how to see hidden files and folders in the Debian file browser using the following methods.

  1. Using the command line
  2. Using the file manager
  3. Using a keyboard shortcut

We have followed the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on Debian 10 OS.

View hidden files using the command line

Usually the ls command is used to list files in a specific directory. But when the ls command is combined with the -a option, you can also use it to display hidden files.

Open the Terminal application by going to the Actions tab in the upper left corner of your desktop. Then in the search bar enter TerminalWhen the terminal icon appears, click on it to launch it. Now in Terminal, run the following command:

$ ls –a

In the following output, files starting with a dot (.) Character are hidden files.

Viewing hidden files with the GNOME file manager

Hidden files can also be viewed in the file manager. Open File Manager from the Actions menu in the upper left corner of your desktop. After opening the file manager, go to the view menu in the upper right corner of its window. In the menu that appears, check the box next to the option Show hidden files.

Show hidden files in file manager

Now you should be able to see hidden files and folders in your file manager. In the following screenshot, files starting with a dot (.) Are hidden files.

List of hidden files

Using a keyboard shortcut

There is also a default shortcut to view hidden files in Linux file manager. Open your file manager and just click Ctrl + H, and you will be able to see hidden files starting with a (.) symbol along with regular files. In the following screenshot, files start with a dot (,) The symbol is hidden files.

Enable hidden file viewing with keyboard shortcutAdvertisement

That’s all there is to it! I hope this is helpful when you need access to hidden files and folders in Debian OS.

How to see hidden files and folders in Debian

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