/bin/ls vs .dotted files

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 01:45:29 PDT 2012

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM, sad at bestmx.ru <sad at bestmx.ru> wrote:
> hi,
> it was just discovered that /bin/ls (without arguments)
> if called by root-user
> lists ".dotted" files
> (while expected to hide ".dotted" files unless -A specified)
> even more surprising is
> man ls
> that clearly says: "-A is always set for superuser"
> (which is absolutely peculiar!)
> WHY????????????????????????

Probably a better question is why 'dotfiles' are ever hidden by ls.
This was an historical mistake that never got corrected.

As for why the default behavior for root is different, it's probably
to help system administrators see past the munchkin trick of intruders
trying to cover their tracks by hiding things in, e.g., dot
directories.  If one runs 'ls' as root and sees, '.h4x0Rd00d', it's a
good indication that you've got a problem.

        - Dan C.


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