Let's say I already a open Gedit window and I want to edit the file .bashrc, which I haven't edited recently. I should click on the 'Open' button, navigate to my home directory and click on the file to open it.

That is not possible since when a "Open File" window shows on screen it doesn't display any file starting with "."

And that is not only for Gedit: I have tried with multiple programs but the problem still remain, even when normally Nautilus shows them when working as a standalone. I know I can open files with Gedit using my terminal, but is it possible to open them with the GUI?

Doing some tests for this question I discovered a weird interaction:

When I

  1. Open Nautilus
  2. Check the "Mark my hidden files as visible" box to make them visible
  3. Close Nautilus
  4. Open any other program
  5. Select the Open Button (Doesn't show hidden files)
  6. Close the popup
  7. Close the program
  8. Open back Nautilus

Then the checkbox clicked on step 2 on Nautilus is not checked anymore


When I

  1. Open Nautilus
  2. Check the "Mark my hidden files as visible" box to make them visible
  3. Open any other program (Nautilus still open)
  4. Select the Open Button (Now it shows hidden files)
  5. Close the popup

Then Nautilus will keep the checkbox marked!

I don't know if the checkbox stays marked even after a system reboot: I'm rebooting just after this question is posted and I'll edit this question if the check disappears.


While making more tests to monitor this weird interaction I tried using VSCode instead of Gedit. For some obscure reason seems that when clicking on "open file" on VSCode it overwrites my settings, making my "Mark hidden files as visible" unchecked and making my hidden files invisible once again. I tried the trick from before, keeping both Nautilus and Gedit open while clicking on the "open file" button in VSCode, but the settings were overwritten and the checkbox got unmarked when the Nautilus popup was closed.


Seems I'm not the only one experiencing this kind of problem with VSCode. Here there's a link to an open github issue with the same problem I'm having.

  • From a terminal window gedit ~/.bashrc. From Nautilus you must first make it show hidden files. Then look into you home directory and you can doubleclick to open also .bashrc. The setting to show hidden files should survive reboot.
    – sudodus
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 16:13
  • @sudodus I did, as written in the second part of my question
    – Tox46
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


In the "File - Open" box, hit Ctrl+H to toggle the display of hidden files. You can also right-click in the file list and select "Show hidden files" from the right-click menu. That at least answers the "How to open files with name starting in "." in a program".

The same shortcut key works in nautilus. In nautilus, the setting propagates to all open instances when you change it in one instance. In contrast, GTK3 file dialogs take their initial state from how it was set through nautilus, but can then be changed individually and are remembered for the application as long as it remains open. That, at least, is how it works for several applications, including Gedit and LibreOffice. VSCode, however, may be resetting the dialog settings each time it is closed. GTK2 file open dialogs, such as in Gimp, remember their settings within the application between restarts.

At least, that is how it works on my system: I cannot reproduce the issue you are describing, not on Ubuntu 21.04 with Gnome 40 from PPA, nor on a standard install of Ubuntu 20.04.

  • I tried your solution. When clicking CTRL+H in my VSCode file picker it does shows hidden files, and it keeps the check on when opening back Nautilus. When opening back a VSCode popup it seems like I haven't done anything, and CTRL+H has not been pressed
    – Tox46
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 16:47
  • VSCode may be interfering. Please also try with for example Gedit, another Gnome app.
    – vanadium
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 16:49
  • Gedit seem to work as intentended using your solution. VSCode must be doing something weird with the file picker.
    – Tox46
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 16:54
  • VCCode may reset the dialog each time, whereas for other applications, the state is remembered while the app is open. If an app is closed then opened again, initially the GTK dialogs will take the status as in nautilus.
    – vanadium
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 16:57
  • Searching on the internet with VSCode as main keyword pops an open github issue that points out exactly at the issue I'm experiencing. Thanks for your time
    – Tox46
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 17:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .