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 Hidden files /directories

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Laz
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PostSubject: Hidden files /directories   Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:35 pm

I have a USB key that has a couple of hidden directories,
and I would like to see what's up. The ls command shows:
linux-02pi:/dev/usb # ls -a
. .. hiddev0
Can anyone show me how to access . and .. to do a file listing?
Thanks
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bozo
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden files /directories   Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:06 am

The . and .. entries are not really hidden directories, just shorthand for the current directory (.) and the parent directory of the current directory (..), i.e. the next directory above the one you're in. So running
Code:
ls -a
and
Code:
ls -a .
will give identical results. Running
Code:
ls -a ..
will give the contents of the directory above the current directory (in your case /dev).
Code:
ls -a hiddev0
should give you the contents of that directory, assuming you have access rights.

Knowing the .. shorthand can be quite handy if you are currently in ~/directory_a/a_name_composed_of_a_ridiculous_number_of_random_characters/another_directory and you want to move up one level.
Code:
cd ..
can save a lot of keystrokes. Smile

clown

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Laz
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden files /directories   Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:10 pm

[quote="bozo"
Code:
ls -a hiddev0
should give you the contents of that directory, assuming you have access rights.
clown[/quote]
I tried the command both as a normal and admin user, but all I get as a response is that hiddev0 is not a file, or directory. This begs the question:
if so, what is it? I am tempted to re-format the USB stick and get rid of it, but I"m curious.

Thanks for the clarifications, it's great to see something in plain English.
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bozo
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden files /directories   Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:41 pm

My first guess off the top of my head is that hiddev0 is something like a boot sector or partition table on a hard drive, one of those hidden sectors that you never see but the hard drive needs to operate.

You might try ls -l to get the size and permissions, and the date (if the date is the date of manufacture, you might not want to delete it!). Or use the Linux equivalent of the DOS DEBUG command (sorry, I'm having a senior moment and I'm too lazy to look it up) where you can actually see the bits and bytes and maybe figure out what's there.

Or if it's cheap enough that you don't mind bricking the thing, just go ahead and take the chance of deleting hiddev0, or formatting the drive, and see what happens! Smile

clown

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Laz
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden files /directories   Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:38 pm

bozo wrote:
My first guess off the top of my head is that hiddev0 is something like a boot sector or partition table on a hard drive,clown  

Well, since it is a USB stick that was used solely to store files temporarily, it shoud'nt have a boot sector. When I tried ls -l hiddev0 it informed me that this was neither a file, nor a directory. The search continues. Thank you for the info, I filed it for future reference.
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bdquick
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden files /directories   Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:52 pm

Could be the file table listing. If you plug this drive into windows does it come with "helpful software"? That could also be stored there.

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PostSubject: Re: Hidden files /directories   Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:51 am

Looks like I misunderstood the use of the lsusb command. Turns out it provides only a description of the usb drive. I can't confirm yet, but I'm guessing hiddev0 may stand for Hardware ID Device 0. To see the files on the stick, I needed to run lsblk,
which provides the correct path to the drive for the ls command.
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PostSubject: Re: Hidden files /directories   Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:23 pm

Thanks for the follow-up!

clown

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