Configuring Bash Configuration Files in Linux

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Several configuration files support how your shell behaves. Some of the files are executed for every user and every shell, while others are specific to the user who creates the configuration file.


Bash Configuration Files
/etc/profile. Sets up user environment information for every user. It is executed when you first log in. This file provides values for your path, as well as setting environment variables for such things as the location of your mailbox and the size of your history files. Finally, /etc/profile gathers shell settings from configuration files in the /etc/profile.d directory.

/etc/bashrc. Executes for every user who runs the bash shell, each time a bash shell is opened. It sets the default prompt and may add one or more aliases. Values in this file can be overridden by information in each user’s ~/.bashrc file.

~/.bash_profile .Used by each user to enter information that is specific to his or her own use of the shell. It is executed only once, when the user logs in. By default it sets a few environment variables and executes the user’s .bashrc file.

~/.bashrc. Contains the information that is specific to your bash shells. It is read when you log in and also each time you open a new bash shell. This is the best location to add environment variables and aliases so that your shell picks them up.

~/.bash_logout. Executes each time you log out (exit the last bash shell). By default, it simply clears your screen.

To change the /etc/profile or /etc/bashrc files, you must be the root user. Users can change the information in the $HOME/.bash_profile, $HOME/.bashrc, and $HOME/.bash_logout files in their own home directories.

The following sections provide ideas about items to add to your shell configuration files. In most cases, you add these values to the .bashrc file in your home directory. However, if you administer a system, you may want to set some of these values as defaults for all of your Linux system’s users.

Source of Information : Linux Bible 2008 Edition

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