One of the minor annoyances with Apple OS X is that there is no convenient way to display hidden files in Finder. As I recently noticed, after an upgrade to OS X Mavericks (10.9), there was a slight change in the command. What used to work in 10.5 to 10.8 no longer has any effect in 10.9. You don’t even get an error message.
The correct command to show hidden files in the Finder in 10.9 is the following:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true killall Finder
To undo those changes, just invert the value of the parameter ‘boolean’:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean false killall Finder
This is mainly a note for myself, which I wrote up because one of the first hits in Google on that issue leads to an SEO-optimised blog post that falsely claims that the same method works from 10.5 to 10.10.