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Is there a way to configure OSX to always show particular dot files?

I'm familiar with the commands to toggle between showing and hiding hidden files.

Show Hidden Files:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles 1 && killall Finder

Hide Hidden Files:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles 0 && killall Finder

I also created a quick-click macro to toggle visibility using these commands; however, even this usage is annoying because of frequency. The reason I toggle often is because I prefer not to have all hidden files always visible. Hiding minimizes chance of accidental selections, deletions, etc.

For example, in many of my projects I want to always see .jshintrc and .gitignore files but, do not want .git folders to also be visible.

  • At first I thought that setFile -a V could be used, in conjunction with your defaults write command, but the defaults setting seems to override what setFile does. Best recommendation I can think of is do like ln -s .gitignore "!gitignore" (with hidden files be turned off). You'll see "!gitignore" at the top of your Finder window (if sorting by name), so it will be in a similar place to where ".gitignore" would have been, but it will be visible. – jimtut Jun 13 '14 at 17:02
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There is no way to show only some hidden files unless you do as jimtut said and create a link to a file. You can also use Terminal to show the file listing with ls -a.   If the file doesn't need to be hidden with a '.' you can toggle it's visibility with the chflags nohidden fileName command, but this doesn't change visibility for files beginning with a '.'.

  • I knew there was another command to change visibility of a single file, but I couldn't remember chflags. Looks like both chflags and setFile set the same underlying attributes. You can check the attributes with GetFileInfo. Those set/get commands do require the Apple Developer Tools or something. Google it; it's worth it. – jimtut Jun 13 '14 at 23:19

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