Access to hidden folders?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by donfrench, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. donfrench macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    I have started doing some iPhone development but I am generally pretty new to the Mac world so please excuse my very basic and ignorant questions. I am trying to install a packet sniffer (WireShark) on my PowerBook and the instructions say that I need to drag the contents of a folder that is a included in their distribution to /usr/local/bin or $HOME/bin. First, I don't know what $HOME refers to in this context, and second it appears that /usr/local/bin and several other directories they mention are not visible to the average user (that is, Finder does not show them.) But I can find them in Terminal so I assume that they are just hidden for to protect them from the not-so-clever users. So, I am curious first about the instruction to drag and drop into these folders, when the destination is not visible in Finder. Is there a way to unhide hidden folders? Or is there some other way to drag something into these folders? Or was the person who wrote those instructions just not thinking and I need to use Terminal and copy the stuff I need in the old-fashioned Unix way?
  2. Thomas Harte macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2005
    I don't know of any way to show the hidden directories in the Finder of the natural course of things, but if you use the menubar's Go->Go To Folder... you can enter /usr/<whatever> and the Finder will happily go there. Use shift+command+f to save some clicking.

    $HOME refers to your home directory, the same place as ~, i.e. /Users/<your short form username>. That is the author writing in UNIX terms without really thinking about it.
  3. donfrench thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    Thanks! I didn't know about that. In my impatience I ended up using good old CP but in the process I discovered that the target folder was protected and that I was not allowed to change the permissions. So then I tried to become root only to find out that SU required a password that I was not in possession of. So next I searched the web and found the very easy method of becoming root by sudo tcsh! So, this was a good learning experience.

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