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On my reelbox (running Ubuntu) I have found a file in /etc/init that contains the following

# frontpanel-pre - check for frontpanel CAPs and adjust time
#

description     "check frontpanel caps"

#start on starting mountall
#start on tty-device-added DEVNAME=/dev/ttyS0

task

script
        (
        /sbin/dev_frontpanel.sh
        /sbin/reelfpctl -capability
        ) > /dev/.frontpanel.caps
        initctl emit --no-wait frontpanel-linked
end script

I wonder if the dot in /dev/.frontpanel has some special meaning in linux

I thought the output of the commands in the brackets will be written to a file called ".frontpanel.caps" in /dev/ but there is no such file. In /dev/ there is a frontpanel which is a link to /dev/ttyS0

Could it be, that e.g. echo something > /dev/.frontpanel.caps actually sends data (something in this case) to /dev/frontpanel ?

What does .caps do then?

marked as duplicate by Community Jun 7 '17 at 20:14

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  • Isn't the /dev/.frontpanel a file being created by the script? So the . in the filename simply makes it not show in a standard ls command (but would in ls -a). – KevinO Jun 7 '17 at 20:00
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Filenames with a full-stop (.) as their first character have only one special attribute - they are "hidden" files. Which is to say, they do not show up when using e. g. ls without additional parameters to explicitly request that all files, including hidden ones, be shown (e. g. ls -a). This is why the CWD (.) and its parent (..) do not show up by default.

  • Sometimes it is just that easy. Thanks a lot. – thowa Jun 7 '17 at 20:12
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A file name or directory name that starts wtih a dot creates a hidden file/directory. To see them use ls -a or ls -A - the uppercase version doesn't display the always present . and .. directories

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