I was hiding some of the folders on my Ubuntu machine. By mistake, I have hidden bin folder too by using

cd /
mv bin .bin

Now I could cd to .bin, but I am not able to unhide the bin directory. Can someone help? I was trying the following command:

mv .bin bin

I am getting the following error

bash: /bin/mv: No such file or directory

I tried to login as root, but my machine is asking me to install login. On doing apt-get install login, I am getting a message login is currently the latest version.

  • 5
    To help others in similar cases, the first rule is don't panic. Then read below's top answer. But to get even more ideas of what is possible : lug.wsu.edu/node/414 (different system, different os, but the ideas are still relevant, and unix's reliability is (almost, if distribs remember to keep it sane) still shining) Dec 4, 2017 at 10:02

1 Answer 1


If you still have a root shell open, run

cd /
/.bin/mv .bin bin

Your shell can’t find mv because it’s no longer on the path; giving the full path to it will allow it to run.

(As a general rule, it’s best not to rename directories outside of your home directory — they are managed by the package manager, and you are likely to confuse it and prevent updates from being applied in the future.)

  • 3
    @Apricot No need to panic. Even if you could not have been able to restore the directory names from within your running (and broken) system, you could have still used a live system for rescuing it. Dec 4, 2017 at 9:05
  • 9
    @Apricot: well, that's good, but backup should be taken before something bad happens ;) Continue taking backups regularly from now on. Dec 4, 2017 at 9:49
  • 1
    Yes, making backups is always good, even if they turn out to be not necessary for the current situation.
    – Mr Lister
    Dec 4, 2017 at 11:21
  • 3
    @user3490 it moves itself without complaint; see Overwriting a running executable or .so for details. Dec 4, 2017 at 13:27
  • 2
    Abstractly, renaming /.bin to /bin changes neither any file within the renamed directory, nor the directory itself; the only thing that is changed is the name of one entry in the root directory!
    – zwol
    Dec 4, 2017 at 20:11

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