I want to be able to check whether a file is hidden or not in Cent OS 6.3. These are often referred to as (dot) files but I can clearly see Cent OS 6.3 handling these by appending a ~(tilde) to the end


myfile (not hidden) myfile~ (hidden)

Now, I can tell that a file is "hidden" if it's a dot file, but what is going on with this tilde (~) terminating character - is this particular to Cent OS 6.3? Is this something I can simply check for in the file name (EG: starting with a dot or ending with a tilde) I would appreciate help on this as, I would assume "hidden" is a file attribute rather than a "naming convention" as I wrong?

  • 3
    There is no “hidden” file attribute, any hiding is done by the software listing the files. So which program are you using that's hiding files? Nov 1, 2012 at 18:15
  • Is this for tab completion inside the bash shell? If so, check the value of the FIGNORE variable using echo $FIGNORE.
    – Mikel
    Nov 1, 2012 at 18:33
  • they are "hidden" in nautilus ("show hidden files")
    – user26676
    Nov 3, 2012 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


A tilde suffix marks a backup file for a few text editors, such as Emacs ('~') and Vim ('.ext~').

Some programs hide these files, as most people don't care about them.

The only universal convention for a 'hidden' file is a file with a leading '.', due to a feature-like bug which was widely adopted.

  • thanks for the link - I suspected it was some kind of "retcon" _ I am syncing files and I want to ignore locked files, hidden files etc so thanks for the info
    – user26676
    Nov 3, 2012 at 12:33

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