Thursday, December 29, 2011

OS X hidden folders, extended attributes, flags, and file ACLs

On lion the ~/Library directory is hidden by default in Finder. This doesn't bother me normally, since I rarely use Finder and it is visible on the commandline, but I recently got stuck needing to submit logs from ~/Library using a web-based form.

There are some one-off tricks you can use to access it, but, as far as I can see, no equivalent of the windows 'show hidden files' setting in Finder.

To see extended attributes (indicated by trailing @), file ACLs (indicated by trailing +), and flags, use this:
$ ls -l@eOd Library/
drwx------@ 38 user  group  hidden 1292 Dec 28 16:02 Library/   32 
 0: group:everyone deny delete

You can manipulate the 'hidden' flag (which seems to actually be implemented as a FinderInfo attribute) and others with chflags:
chflags nohidden Library

Which gives:
$ ls -l@eOd Library/
drwx------+ 38 user  group  - 1292 Dec 28 16:02 Library/
 0: group:everyone deny delete

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