The spatial evolution of three-dimensional disturbances in an attachment-line boundary layer is computed by direct numerical simulation of the unsteady, incompressible Navier–Stokes equations. Disturbances are introduced into the boundary layer by harmonic sources that involve unsteady suction and blowing through the wall. Various harmonic-source generators are implemented on or near the attachment line, and the disturbance evolutions are compared. Previous two-dimensional simulation results and nonparallel theory are compared with the present results. The three-dimensional simulation results for disturbances with quasi-two-dimensional features indicate growth rates of only a few percent larger than pure two-dimensional results; however, the results are close enough to enable the use of the more computationally efficient, two-dimensional approach. However, true three-dimensional disturbances are more likely in practice and are more stable than two-dimensional disturbances. Disturbances generated off (but near) the attachment line spread both away from and toward the attachment line as they evolve. The evolution pattern is comparable to wave packets in flat-plate boundary-layer flows. Suction stabilizes the quasi-two-dimensional attachment-line instabilities, and blowing destabilizes these instabilities; these results qualitatively agree with the theory. Furthermore, suction stabilizes the disturbances that develop off the attachment line. Clearly, disturbances that are generated near the attachment line can supply energy to attachment-line instabilities, but suction can be used to stabilize these instabilities.