I want to hide, most of the folders in root (/) using Nautilus. Probably the only folders in / I want shown are /home and /tmp.

In addition to hiding folders, I also want to hide two files: initrd.img and initrd.img.old.

I find such a setup to be pro-noob, and looks a lot slicker too. How can I hide those folders and files?

  • Do you want to hide it in your file manager (e.g. Gnome's Nautilus or KDE's Dolphin) or for the whole system? As far as I know, the latter is not possible (Filesystem Hierarchy Standard). – gertvdijk Sep 17 '12 at 14:08
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    Any file-manager. But i am using nautilus. So if i can hide folders only in nautilus. i am happy! :) – blade19899 Sep 17 '12 at 14:14
  • @blade19899 Then your own answer is correct. Works here. Please update your question to be Nautilus. – gertvdijk Sep 17 '12 at 15:20

Tested under Nautilus 3.4.2 on Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 (but works in almost all scenarios)

Open gnome-terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T).

Type ls /.

Copy the name(s) of the folder(s) you want hidden.

Press Alt+F2, then type in gedit.

Paste all the names you want hidden like so:


Image excerpted from Another Way to Hide Files Folders in Ubuntu by Meilin

Save the file (Ctrl+S) in the directory / with the name .hidden (no asterisk, as seen in the image above).

Refresh the page, and they are gone.


Image from How to hide files and folders - EuroBytes

If you want them unhidden later...

To unhide the folders, you can either:

  • remove there names from the .hidden file, or
  • just press Ctrl+H to view all hidden files and folders.


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    Works perfectly in Nautilus. Please mention the filename should be .hidden (without the asterisk as in the screenshot). F5 (refresh) seems enough to make Nautilus aware of it. And it works like opt-out, not opt-in unfortunately. – gertvdijk Sep 17 '12 at 15:20

I doubt you can achieve this easily, this is either all or nothing in the unix model, and there is no permission for "seeing content of directory". Once you have enough access to read a directory, then you can read everything ( ie, the list of folder/files )

chmod o-r / could work for hiding all directories, but I do not recommend to do it without testing first on a vm, and fully understanding what you do.

Using a custom kernel module, you could hide folders, but that's rather complex and error prone.

  • Would given a dot in front of the folder help. like so '.media' – blade19899 May 28 '12 at 15:51
  • That would requires change the path on every program ( ie, /.etc is different from /etc ), so all programs would likely be broken and the system would not boot. – Misc May 28 '12 at 15:54
  • ;( to bad i will try some stuff out in virtual-box using 12.04 amd64 i will post later with the results. – blade19899 May 28 '12 at 15:59

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