On Tue, 2020-02-11 at 19:53 -0600, Dave Ulrick wrote:
> I'm logged in as a non-root user with my home directory as my
> current working directory. The file system containing my home
> directory is mounted at /home. I'm using a shell prompt via a
> graphical terminal emulator (xfce4-terminal, in my case). Now, I
> enter an 'ls' command at a bash prompt. The output doesn't appear
> until after my USB hard drive spins up. Note that neither
> /var/backups nor any directory under it is in my shell's PATH, nor is
> there any symlink to /var/backups in my current working directory.
> Thus, there should be no need to read /var/backups, yet evidently
> this exactly what happens.

Just a stab in the dark:  Is something poking about /var/run or
/var/cache?  Perhaps that's enough to look through /var.  I wonder if
you could try another terminal program, just to see if it's the
terminal, itself.

Maybe strace ls, to see what it's up to.

I know with GUI programs, I had to move mountable thing to be inside a
sub-directory of my homespace.  Otherwise, anything that listed ~/
would wake up the drives to count the number of files in them.  So, I
feel your pain.
uname -rsvp
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