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Show hidden files in Finder on OS X

April 13th, 2009 makii

Like any Unix system, files in OS X are hidden by default in directory listings when the names start with a dot ".". This also counts for the Finder. There seems to be no way in the Finder configuration to change this configuration, so there’s a little hack in the shell to modify this behaviour:

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
$ killall Finder

As you might guess the first line sets the option somehow and the second line kills all Finder windows belonging to the current User. As the Desktop also is a Finder process, it will restart immediately.

defaults seems to be a small CLI to some kind of user preferences service within OS X. You can list e.g. all preferences for the current user from the finder by invoking:

$defaults read com.apple.finder

The result will look a bit like a cascaded associative array. I think there’s some more to fiddle with.

Via Lifehacker.

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