KDE Dolphin - hide system folders


On all of my internal drives there are a few system folders that appear in Dolphin that I would like to hide. Is there any way to achieve this?


It is not clear from your screenshot whether these are actual files or entries in the Places panel. In case of the latter, some of those can be hidden, but if they are just files or regular directories ("folders"), then no, you cannot hide them.

First of all, even if you were able to hide them, then that would only apply in your user account, not in any other accounts. UNIX systems are multiuser platforms, and every application has its user-specific settings, which are stored in the user's home directory.

Secondly, in UNIX, a file is hidden by default only if its name starts with a period ("."), and these are commonly user-level configuration files and cache data. So there is no point in hiding them for the sake of "security by obscurity", because that's not how UNIX works. Those files are merely being hidden by default so as to not clog the view when one issues a directory listing of one's personal data.

And if you change the names of certain files or directories so that they would start with a period, then whatever application needs them wouldn't be able to find them anymore, and would probably recreate them with the proper names again upon the next invocation.


These are not from the Places or Devices portion of the menu, they are actual directories/folders listed with all of the other folders/files in the Name body of the window.

I was unsure if this was actually possible so I decided to ask.


Those are already hidden folders. Not sure why these are showing up unless you have "show hidden files" turned on for the base folder (partition root).

I do have show hidden files enabled. I was just curious if it was possible to override the system-wide setting for my internal drives only.

There is only two settings, use common properties for all folders, or remember properties per folder.
You could just set it to the latter.

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Considering that hidden files in a UNIX system are usually user-specific configuration data and cache, stored in the user's home directory, you would normally not have any hidden files on any other filesystems.

Files on an NTFS volume that are made hidden in Windows will not be hidden in UNIX, because in Windows, making a file hidden is done by way of a file attribute (+H), and this is meaningless in a UNIX context.

Just FYI, the other internal drives on my machine I'm referring to are not OS drives, they are data drives.

In that case, they would normally not have any hidden files on them. Hidden files are rather a thing specific to user's home directories. :wink:

In Dolphin you can easily make a folder hidden by adding a dot in front of the name (no spaces)

Just right click on the folder, then select rename. Type a period at the front of the name (you don't have to erase the name), then just click off the folder to set the new name

You'll get a message asking to confirm if you want to make it a hidden folder

If you want to recover it, just select "view hidden files" from the menu, then erase the dot. You'll notice all the hidden files that appear have dots at the front

Edit: Just realized the first reply already answered more thoroughly

Those files are merely being hidden by default so as to not clog the view

Actually just like in Windows the files are hidden for the endusers protection, not to unclutter the view.

No, I'm afraid you are mistaken. First of all, Microsoft Windows builds upon the legacy of MS-DOS when it comes to hidden files, and neither DOS nor Windows have a specific role set aside for hidden files. Any file in DOS and Windows can be made either hidden or visible without changing the functionality of the file or directory.

As such, files in DOS were often hidden ─ by setting the +H attribute on the file ─ for reasons of "security by obscurity", given that everything running in DOS ran with maximum privileges. DOS didn't support processor privilege levels, and as a single-user, single-tasking operating system, it also didn't support privilege separation at the user level.

Secondly, GNU/Linux is a UNIX platform, and the graphical user interface on UNIX has always been an optional component, which didn't even exist yet on the original proprietary UNIX versions ─ UNIX dates back to 1969.

In UNIX, a hidden file or directory is always related to user-specific configuration and/or cache data, and the intent is to hide them from view, along with the directory entries for the current working directory (.) and the parent directory (..). That's why hidden files and directories in UNIX have a name that starts with a period (".").

In that regard, it also deserves to be mentioned that ─ as I said already ─ UNIX dates back to 1969, whereas MS-DOS was an unauthorized 16-bit rewrite of Digital Research's Gary Kildall's 8-bit CP/M operating system, which was created in 1974.

Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer rewrote that as a 16-bit operating system, leaving out some of the functionality of CP/M in the process, because he had not acquired official authorization from Gary Kildall to do so.

When IBM was looking for an operating system for their original Personal Computer, they initially wanted CP/M, but they couldn't come to a licensing agreement with Kildall and his wife. Bill Gates then found out about Paterson's rewrite of CP/M ─ called 86DOS ─ and he called IBM to tell them he had an operating system for them. He bought 86DOS from Paterson for USD $63'000, rebranded it to MS-DOS and offered Paterson a job at Microsoft as Chief MS-DOS Developer.

Microsoft Windows shares a similarly odd history. Originally, it was never even an operating system. It was a tiling window manager for MS-DOS, and it didn't support multitasking just yet. Later on, a cooperative multitasking module and a DOS memory extender were added, and then in 1995, it was made impossible to run Windows on anything other anymore than the built-in DOS ─ this was Windows 95, and later Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition. The NT-based versions of Windows were based upon code developed earlier together with IBM for what was to be OS/2 3.0.

The above in mind, and coming back to your statement, whereas hiding files was considered a "security" feature in DOS and Windows, it has no such function in UNIX, because hidden files in UNIX are specific to the user's home directory and offer no protection whatsoever against anything.

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Actually i'm right. Microsoft hide the files to keep the enduser from deleting something they shouldn't. Now Unix / Linux may have a different reason than Microsoft, but I stand by what I said about Microsoft.

I wasn't contesting that. I was only contesting that the same incentive applied for hidden files in UNIX systems. :wink:

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