Linux / Unix: Bash Find Matching All Dot Files

A dot-file is generally any file whose name begins with a full stop. In Linux or Unix like operating system it is also called as hidden file. How do I list all dot files in my home directory?

You can use the ls command to list all dot files in your current directory:

ls  .*

Sample outputs:

.bash_history  .bash_profile  .bashrc  .lesshst  .profile  .viminfo

.:
checkfs  checkroot  interfaces	interfaces.new	scripts  securedata.keyfile

..:
lost+found  root  root.user.only

.aptitude:
cache  config

.keychain:
nas01-csh  nas01-fish  nas01-sh

.ssh:
id_rsa	id_rsa.pub  known_hosts

.system_file_bakups:

.vim:

Please use the following syntax instead of .* for security reasons to avoid unexpected results:

ls  .[^.]*

Another option is to use the find command:
$ find . -name ".*"
OR
$ find . -name ".[^.]*"
Sample outputs:

.
./.bash_history
./.system_file_bakups
./.viminfo
./.bashrc
./.lesshst
./.ssh
./.profile
./.aptitude
./.bash_profile
./.vim
./.vim/.netrwhist
./.keychain

To list only matching dot files, enter:
$ find . -type f -name ".*"
Sample outputs:

./.bash_history
./.viminfo
./.bashrc
./.lesshst
./.profile
./.bash_profile
./.vim/.netrwhist

To list only matching dot directories, enter:
$ find . -type d -name ".*"
Sample outputs:

.
./.system_file_bakups
./.ssh
./.aptitude
./.vim
./.keychain

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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