What’s the Difference Between .bashrc and .profile on Linux?
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Logging onto a Linux machine running Bash causes certain files to be read. They configure your shell environment. But which files are read, and when, can be confusing. Here’s what really happens.
The Different Types of Shell
The environment you get when you launch a shell is defined by settings held in configuration or profile files. These hold information that establishes such things as your text colors, your command prompt, aliases, and the path that is searched for executable files when you type the name of a program.
There are a number of different files—in different locations in the file system—where these settings are stored. But before we get into looking at which files are read when you launch a shell, we need to be clear about what type of shell you’re using.
A login shell is a shell that you log into. When you boot your computer and log in, underneath your graphical desktop environment there’s a login shell. If you connect to another computer over an SSH connection, you’ll log into a login shell too.
The type of shell you get when…
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