Changing Initialization Files (26-Oct-1997)
Changing Initialization Files
There are a number of files that are processed automatically
when certain events happen. These are the startup, or initialization files.
They all begin with a period, making them hidden, and therefore not visible
unless you add the '-a' switch to ls. The common files on this system
When changing startup files, it is a good idea to back up
the file you are going to edit, in case you somehow destroy or damage it.
For instance, before you were going to edit your .tcshrc file you would
This is the initialization file that is read each time
you login. Usually, most of these commands should go into the .tcshrc.
If you need a certain set of commands executed when you
logout, this is the place to put them.
This file is processed each time you start a new shell
or open a new shell window. It commonly contains commands to set enviroment
variables like the path, manpath, printer, and display.
.bash_profile, and .bashrc
These files are also processed each time you login, but
only if you are using the bash shell. The profile file is the globle resource
file that sets up the inital environment. The bashrc file is processed
every time you start a sub-shell. The advantage is that xterms need only
read the .bashrc file, keeping the overall environment managable.
Whenever you log into a machine in the ICL, this file
is read to determine what programs you want to load automatically. Each
command is executed sequentially; the last command should be the window
manager that you wish to use (mwm, fvwm, olwm, ctwm).
This file sets parameters for many X programs, such as
xclock, xbiff, etc.
The Motif window manager (mwm) reads this file
to determine how you want to customize its appearance. Commonly, one uses
this file to personalize menus, colors, and icons.
>mv .tcshrc .tcshrc.bak
This would make a backup copy of your file, so in case the
new one had ill effects, you could easily switch back to the old one.
To edit a startup files, use any common text editor.
Each of these files has a default copy somewhere
in the system. If you have your own file, this default file may be skipped,
or it might be processed in addition to your personal file.
Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering
University of Illinois at Chicago
©Copyright Feb. 2002