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2 definitions found
 for dot file
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  dot file
   n.
  
      A file that is not visible by default to normal directory-browsing tools
      (on Unix, files named with a leading dot are, by convention, not normally
      presented in directory listings). Many programs define one or more dot
      files in which startup or configuration information may be optionally
      recorded; a user can customize the program's behavior by creating the
      appropriate file in the current or home directory. (Therefore, dot files
      tend to creep ? with every nontrivial application program defining at
      least one, a user's home directory can be filled with scores of dot files,
      of course without the user's really being aware of it.) See also profile
      (sense 1), rc file.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  dot file
  
      A Unix application program
     configuration file.  On Unix, files named with a leading dot
     are not normally shown in directory listings.  Many programs
     define one or more dot files in which startup or configuration
     information may be optionally recorded; a user can customise
     the program's behaviour by creating the appropriate file in
     the current or home directory.
  
     Dot files tend to proliferate - with every nontrivial
     application program defining at least one, a user's home
     directory can be filled with scores of dot files, without the
     user really being aware of it.  Common examples are .profile,
     .cshrc, .login, .emacs, .mailrc, .forward, .newsrc, .plan,
     .rhosts, .sig, .xsession.
  
     See also profile, rc file.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1994-12-07)
  

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