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Add option to hide dotfiles in USB/MTP connection [answered]

asked 2014-01-30 12:48:04 +0200

nephros gravatar image

updated 2014-01-30 14:17:23 +0200

The dotfiles in the user home (~/.?*) may contain sensitive information (applications are free to store anything in there, and sometimes store things like cleartext passwords or crypto private keys.)

Especially with Windows computers (but other modern OSes as well), one can never know what software might browse, index or cache these files, without knowledge or consent of the user.

It would be nice to have the option in the Jolla/Sailfish MTP implementation to not show these files, and have that configurable in the UI.

An additional benefit would be reduced clutter when browsing the shared home via USB/MTP.


As requested, for clarification: MTP: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Transfer_Protocol) is what is used to browse files on the jolla from a computer (usually) when the device is connected via USB cable.

It is not UMS (USB Mass Storage) which is what used to be used on phones like the N9 in the past. And many users wish we had on Jolla as well. UMS is often incorrectly referred to as "USB" when talking about file transfer.

USB is the physical connection as well a a set of protocols spoken over this connection. It is the physical layer MTP is spoken over.

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by nephros
close date 2014-02-01 00:44:49.139983

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Would be nice for many users here if you could explaint (or define) in the question what is MTB, and how is it different compared to USB ;)

foss4ever ( 2014-01-30 13:57:44 +0200 )edit

Thanks for the detailed clarification of USB, UMS and MTP ;)

foss4ever ( 2014-01-30 14:20:37 +0200 )edit

@jjaone OK added as per your request.

I think it's the wrong place though. I used the term correctly, and whoever doesn't know what it is should look it up. It's not hard. I don't think we should be adding references and explanations like this to any questions/feature requests which use technical terms.

You could add a question "What the fuck is MTP", post a good answer and then we could point there from any questions dealing with it.

nephros ( 2014-01-30 14:23:16 +0200 )edit

@nephros Really? With those exact words.. no, i don't think.so.. ;) But, I don't think it's that bad practice of simply giving in parentheses an explanation of (not that common) acronyms, like in 'When using MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) to read files.. '. In regards to how-to's, guides and terms used in Jolla / SailfishOS there are several How-to wikis here, and a list/dictionary of some of the more technical terms and acronyms could be compiled. Good idea, actually.

foss4ever ( 2014-01-30 14:36:29 +0200 )edit

I agree! With all three points actually :)

nephros ( 2014-01-30 14:46:19 +0200 )edit

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answered 2014-01-31 18:31:55 +0200

Aard gravatar image

The upcoming update will apply a blacklist to the files exported via MTP. While we don't hide all dotfiles most of the files/directories used by the distribution are hidden. As Sailfish applications are supposed to follow the XDG base directory spec to store data inside .config/.cache/.local this should eliminate displaying most of the unwanted entries there.

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I think hiding ~/.ssh might also be a good idea :)

etam ( 2014-01-31 20:36:35 +0200 )edit

This is very good to hear, and cause for concern at the same time.

Is that blacklist configurable? Can the blacklisting be turned off?

While I am the one who posed the question above, I have also been burned by previous attempts by Nokia and other manufacturer to overzealously "protect the user from himself", and hiding too much. Resulting in the USB mode useless for much more than shoving pictures around.

nephros ( 2014-01-31 21:30:16 +0200 )edit
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It has been released a while ago, for completeness sake: The configurations are stored in /etc/fsstorage.d/. You can drop additional files in there to export additional directory trees by MTP (though you need to make sure that they're accessible by the nemo user). The configuration files provided by us are marked as 'noreplace', which means that if you edit them a new version coming from us will just be placed next to it with '.rpmnew' appended to the name.In that case it'll be your responsibility to keep the configuration updated.

Aard ( 2014-05-10 16:48:03 +0200 )edit

@Aard Is it possible (and how) to recover the default behaviour so that the files will be updated automatically after each update?

Alex ( 2015-01-31 23:46:26 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2014-01-30 12:48:04 +0200

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Last updated: Jan 31 '14