ls.exe shows windows system hidden files

Wendell Pinegar
Mon Dec 2 13:20:00 GMT 2002

In our instance the reason this an issue is that we call the ls.exe utility
from PHP web code and have found that Windows XP is creating system hidden
files in some of our subdirectories (usually the XP auto-created thumbnail
databases).  We have also found other ls.exe implementations that do
properly ignore hidden files.  The MKS Toolkit for instance does properly
ignore these file types.

It just seems odd that ls.exe shows files that would not be listed with
standard command line "dir".

I agree that the proper way to implement this in cygwin would be to hide
system hidden files by default and have a switch to allow ls.exe to show
these files if requested (like "ls --show-hidden-files" and "ls

-----Original Message-----
From: Max Bowsher [] 
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 11:29 AM
To: Wendell Pinegar;
Subject: Re: ls.exe shows windows system hidden files

Wendell Pinegar <> wrote:

> There seems to be a long running defect in the implementation of
> ls.exe.  It shows windows system hidden files - which it shouldn't do
> by default.  On Unix systems files are hidden by placing a period in
> front of the filename (ie, .profile), but in the windows world files
> are not routinely hidden this way but are more commonly hidden by
> setting the hidden attribute on the file.
> Shouldn't ls.exe honor the file system attribute and not show the
> hidden windows files?

It it really a big deal? Worth patching fileutils to make special allowance

There is no unixy analogue, so Cygwin can't help here.

Personally, I don't see the point of patching fileutils to do this - but
that's just an opinion.


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