# Ubuntu – What are dot-files

files

I am having a hard time grasping what dot-files are or what they are for. Are they directories? How do I navigate to them?

Thank you!

In Unix/Linux dot-files refers to files/directories with a . prepended to their name. Examples are ~/.bashrc, ~/.bash_profile, etc. The leading dot . is used as an indicator by software like bash and nautilus to not list these files normally but only when they are specifically requested like pressing Ctrl+H in Nautilus. This is because, generally, dot-files are used to store configurations for different applications but they are sometimes used otherwise as well. For example Mozilla creates a .mozilla folder which contains their configuration files as well as browser cache.