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How to see hidden files and folders in the Debian

Sometimes, we have to keep some files hidden it can be done for different reasons like when we have important files and don’t want others to see it, or to prevent it from accidental deletion especially when we are sharing our system with other users. Some OS files are also kept hidden by default by the OS as they are critical for the functionality of the system. Any changes or accidental deletion of these files can lead to major errors or even cause applications to stop functioning. However, sometimes we need to access these hidden files for troubleshooting or some other reasons. In this article, we will explain how to see hidden files and folders in the Debian File browser using the following ways.

  1. Using Command-line
  2. Using File manager
  3. Using the Keyboard shortcut

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

View hidden files using the command-line

Normally ls command is used for displaying files in a specific directory. But once the ls command is combined the –a option, you can use it for displaying the hidden files too.

Open the Terminal application by going into the activities tab on the top left corner of your desktop. Then in the search bar, type terminal. When the Terminal icon appears, click on it to launch it. Now in the Terminal, execute the following command:

$ ls –a

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

Show hidden files on the command line

Hidden files can also be viewed within a file manager. Open the file manager from the Activities menu on the top left corner of your desktop. Once the file manager is open, go to the view menu in the top right corner of its window. From the menu that appears, check the box next to the option Show Hidden Files.

Show hidden files in file manager

Now you will be able to see the hidden files and folders in your File manager. In the following screenshot, the files starting with dot (.) character are hidden files.

List of hidden files

There is also a default shortcut available for viewing the hidden files in the Linux file manager. Open the file manager and simply press Ctrl+H and you will be able to see hidden files starting with (.) character along with the regular files. In the following screenshot, the files starting with dot (.) character are hidden files.

Enable hidden file view via keyboard shortcutAdvertisement

That is all there is to it! I hope it will be helpful whenever you need to access the hidden files and folders in a Debian OS.

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