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I have set of temp files created in my folder with .bak extensions. How can I make them hide by default in Ubuntu?

I tried adding a .hidden file with *.bak as entry in the file, but that is not working. Any help is very appreciated...

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IMO you're trying to fix the problem at the wrong end. If a program creates lots of backup files, it should put them in a dedicated folder and not spam them somewhere else. –  htorque Nov 6 '10 at 13:55
i have a shared dropbox folder where the backup files are getting created by another shared user. So i cant change it at that end. Need to fix at my end... –  james Nov 6 '10 at 14:05
I think the question also applies to auxiliary files generated by compilers. The feature to hide files in Nautilus would be great to have. @htorque, It is not realistic to ask users to reprogram software that generate useless files. Even if the files have some use, it can still be desirable the possibility to hide them. –  meneer Jul 27 at 14:29

5 Answers 5

I found this post (ubuntu forums). I hope this can help you.

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If you place a full stop (or period) at the beginning of the name of the file it should hide it, for example:


To view your now hidden file, click "view" on Nautilus then check "Show Hidden Files".

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Thank you for the tip. But they are created by a program, i cant rename each of them. –  james Nov 6 '10 at 14:04

You could also create a file called .hidden in your home directory.

Then in this file you can put the names of all the files that you would like to be hidden. One per line.

Thanks Chris

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If the program and you don't care about the name of the file try this "script"

for annoyingbak in *.bak;do mv "$annoyingbak" ."$annoyingbak";done

then run it whenever you're annoyed by the .baks. It moves every file named bla.bak to .bla.bak . If you have to do it very often just

alias deannoy='for annoyingbak in *.bak;do mv "$annoyingbak" ."$annoyingbak";done'>> ~/.bashrc && . .bashrc

then you can just type deannoy in your Dropbox folder and they're gone.

Edited according to the "Bash Pitfalls" comment.

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I suggest you read Bash Pitfalls points 1 and 2. –  htorque Nov 6 '10 at 15:03
oh hehe... I just use bash for the things I need in everyday tasks I (obv.) never really learned it. Good advice thanks! mv *.bak *.bak~ is the better way anyway –  turbo Nov 6 '10 at 16:07

Here's a little script I wrote for hiding LaTeX intermediate files:

alias hidetex='ls *?(aux|bbl|blg|brf|lof|log|lot|out|toc) -1 > .hidden'

I added it to the ~/.bash_aliases file, so now I just cd to the folder I want to hide the files, and type hidetex.

This is intended to be executed at specific folders, but you could make it more generic (e.g. for .bak files) and change it to perform the task recursively, adding a .hidden file to each folder, but that's a little more complicated.

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