Modifying .profile and .login files
file sets the default environment for all users
of the Bourne and Korn shells, while /etc/cshrc
does the same for users of the C shell.
The .profile and .login
(for C shell users) files in the users' home directories contain
commands that initialize the environment for each individual user.
When a Bourne or Korn shell user logs in, the shell
first executes the commands in /etc/profile
and then executes the commands in the .profile
file in the user's home directory.
When a C shell user logs in, the shell executes the
commands in /etc/cshrc
and then the commands in the user's
.login file in their home directory.
(Depending on the login shell, other files may also be read.)
The files contain commands that set various system variables (for example, TERM, PATH, and MAIL). These variables give the system information such as what terminal type is being used, where to look for programs that the user runs, where to look for the user's mailbox, and what keys to expect for the ``kill'' and ``backspace'' functions. For more information about these environment variables, see ``Understanding variables'' in the Operating System User's Guide.
There is one .profile and/or .login file for each user account on the system. The files are placed in the user's home directory when the account is created. Users can modify their own .profile or .login files or allow the system administrator to make modifications. In either case, these files are ordinary text files and can be modified using a text editor. Commands can be added or removed as desired.