Files whose names begin with ``.'' (dot) are hidden from view in a normal directory listing. Certain programs, such as mail and your shell, create hidden files to avoid cluttering your home directory with unnecessary files. You may want to create hidden files yourself, for example, to store personal mail.
To see hidden files, you need to add the -a (all) option to the list command. To see all the files in a directory, you can type ls -a, lc -a, or lf -a.
Try listing all the files in your home directory:
$The first two files (``.'' and ``..'') are placeholders that refer to the current directory (the one you are in) and its parent directory (the one above it). (Remember, the shortcut for going to the directory above where you are right now is cd .. ) You see ``.'' and ``..'' in every directory where you list all the files.
ls -a. .. .kshrc .mailrc .profile .lastlogin
The .kshrc and .profile files are files that the Korn
shell reads when you first log in.
These files control your
that is, they control the way you work on a UNIX system.
For more information, see
``Customizing your environment''.
(Bourne shell users see a file named .profile, and C-shell
see a file named .login and a file named .cshrc;
these are the files those shells read at login.)
The file .lastlogin keeps track of the last time
you logged in.