In my home directory, there is a lot of files beginning with a dot, and I like the fact that Nautilus hides them. But when Nautilus hides .Trash on a USB disk, I risk leaking confidential documents inadvertently, wrongly thinking that I deleted all files from the USB stick I give to an acquaintance.

So, how to set Nautilus to:

  • Hide these files in my home
  • But show them for USB sticks?

Another solution could be to disable Trash for USB sticks, but the idea is not implemented yet.
Any alternative solution welcome. I am looking for a permanent solution, so hitting CTRL+H each time is not a solution.


Nautilus doesn't support automatically changing settings based on the directory. You can use Ctrl+H to manually toggle between showing or not showing hidden files (usually known as dotfiles), but Nautilus can't be configured to automatically toggle that option.

However, if you're using a filesystem on your flash drive that supports symlinks (not FAT32 or NTFS), you could work around your issue this way:

cd /path/to/your/flash/drive
ln -s .Trash Trash

This way, you'll have a non-hidden directory where you can easily check the contents of your trash.

  • Unfortunately the link trick is not usable, because the majority of USB sticks tends to be configured as FAT32 (especially those people lend to each other). – Nicolas Raoul Apr 23 '11 at 9:55
  • You're unfortunately correct. My flash drives must be usable on Windows machines. Grr. – Scott Severance Apr 23 '11 at 12:19
  • Actually, I've heard that NTFS has something like symlinks. I haven't researched it, but perhaps you could reformat your flash drive as NTFS and use that trick. These days, NTFS is supported across all platforms. – Scott Severance Apr 23 '11 at 12:21

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