dot file


Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.

dot file

(operating system, convention)
A Unix application program configuration file. On Unix, files named with a leading dot are not normally shown in directory listings. Many programs define one or more dot files in which startup or configuration information may be optionally recorded; a user can customise the program's behaviour by creating the appropriate file in the current or home directory.

Dot files tend to proliferate - with every nontrivial application program defining at least one, a user's home directory can be filled with scores of dot files, without the user really being aware of it. Common examples are .profile, .cshrc, .login, .emacs, .mailrc, .forward, .newsrc, .plan, .rhosts, .sig, .xsession.

See also profile, rc file.

dot file

A Unix file name that begins with a period, which designates the file as hidden from normal view. In Unix, the ls command displays the file names in the current folder. The -a switch shows the hidden files with dot prefixes.


Show Hidden Dot Files
In this Mac OS X example, the ls commands (blue arrows) display the contents of the root directory. The -a parameter in the bottom example shows all the dot files that were hidden in the top example.
References in periodicals archive ?
With a subroutine to parse my Dot file into Prolog rules, I can now push those rules into the interpreter: