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I'm new to Linux and have been seeing this often. Could someone explain the concept here?


What does the ~ (tilde) signify?

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migrated from Sep 13 '12 at 6:26

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

tilde is the users' home directory – ddyer Sep 12 '12 at 23:09
In any case, this is covered in the appropriate shell reference, such as the Bash Reference Manual. – pst Sep 12 '12 at 23:10
Looks like google does not support it… – Adrian Cornish Sep 12 '12 at 23:12
up vote 17 down vote accepted

The ~ (tilde) is a quick way of specifying your home directory.

The ~/.somefilename means your home directory, the file .somefilename.

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I should also mention that the . infront of a file name normally signifies it is a hidden file. It will not show up by default in an ls of a directory unless you specify -a as an option to the ls command. – Lipongo Sep 12 '12 at 23:14

The tilde ~ character is interpreted by most shells as the "home directory" for you. The "." doesn't mean anything if it's part of a filename, although some programs such as ls will (unless explicitely told otherwise) not show files if their name starts with a "dot". Sort of a "hidden" attribute.

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Tilde originally shared the same space on the HOME key of certain keyboards and by association still means home directory.

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