Why Linux uses .dotfiles for hidden filenames.

Posted: May 31, 2014. At: 9:22 PM. This was 3 years ago. Post ID: 7344

The original UNIX programmers created a bug in the early UNIX code 40 years ago. This code had the side effect of making files starting with a dot hidden to the normal ls command. This was adopted as a ‘feature’. Nowadays, the dotfile is the standard way of hiding configuration files in the home directories of users. Even though it originated as a bug in 40 year old UNIX code. it is very interesting to read about the origins of such old UNIX bugs and how they originated. The code that checked for dotfiles did not check beyond the first character. This Red Hat bug; the oldest bug ever. This bug is to do with network installation. But this does not mean that the network installation is unsafe. On a related note; I have found this website linked on Reddit; this is a page hosting the oldest desktop screenshot of Linux I have ever seen. This is Slackware with kernel 0.99: http://www.nielshorn.net/slackware/slack_old.php. You could get this running in qemu or VMware; but not on a modern computer. Kernel 0.99 would not have the hardware support of even the 2.2 kernel. But it is interesting to see such an old operating system running.

The first Linux distribution I used was Red Hat Linux 6.2. This used the Gnome desktop and gave me a superior desktop experience to Windows `98 Second Edition. Linux has come so far since the olden days. The Red Hat Linux Gnome 1.0 desktop was an interface rather like Windows, now the Gnome 3 desktop is a mish-mash of different ideas and rather looks like a tablet operating system. But that is the current craze is it not?

The Red Hat Linux Gnome desktop 1.0
The Red Hat Linux Gnome desktop 1.0. This is a very old version of Gnome.

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