Home Directory and Hidden Files

Hidden files in Unix are made hidden by starting them with a period. Most programs on Unix allow the user to set up their own custom preferences, and these settings are typically stored in the home directory, but they are hidden to not annoy the user and clutter the folder visibly. To view these files we need to use ls -a which will show all files in the directory. If you do this in your home directory you can see that their are most likely a lot of hidden files. You can edit them if you would like, but most of the time you don't need to edit them directly (unless you are on a server machine and not a desktop).

Other than not showing up with a normal ls, there is nothing at all different between a normal file and a hidden file.

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