find hidden files with lsflags, show them with chflags

I want to go fishing in my work Mac’s ~/Library folder for some app settings files, but Apple has decided to hide it from me. I could use -shift-G, or open ~/Library, but that’s not the kind of guy I am. Why is it hidden? The filename doesn’t start with a dot, so the Finder’s going on something other than Unix convention there. Were this 1998, I’d launch ResEdit and clear the folder’s HFS hidden flag. Maybe that’s still around in some form? I’ll look at the file’s extended attributes, because I’ve seen other HFS stuff like resource forks in there.

Arachnoscope:Desktop steelpangolin$ xattr -l ~/Library
00000000  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |........@.......|
00000010  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|

Well, I was hoping for something more like, but this is a start. Except it’s completely opaque. Googling… aha. A hidden flag is mentioned in chflags. But how do I confirm that this flag is actually why the Library’s omitted from the Finder’s listings? Is there any way to read flags?

Arachnoscope:Desktop steelpangolin$ ls /usr/bin | grep flag

Nope. Back to the man pages; I’ll have to write one myself: lsflags.c.

Now I’ll give it a go:

Arachnoscope:Desktop steelpangolin$ gcc -std=c99 -Wall lsflags.c -o lsflags
Arachnoscope:Desktop steelpangolin$ ./lsflags ~/Library
/Users/steelpangolin/Library: hidden
Arachnoscope:Desktop steelpangolin$ chflags nohidden ~/Library
Arachnoscope:Desktop steelpangolin$ ./lsflags ~/Library
Arachnoscope:Desktop steelpangolin$ xattr -l ~/Library

Hooray. The flag shows up, and it is indeed stored in the xattr, because both disappear when I remove it. But what’s this, at the end of the first man page I found?

You can use “ls -lO” to see the flags of existing files.

Note to self: read all the way to the end next time.

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