Linux Typical Dot Files

There is some redundancy across these programs. For example, the look and behavior of emacs can be customized by usinng the .emacs file, but also by adding the appropriate modifications to the .Xdefaults file. Default versions of these files are often installed in users’ home directories when the software packages that use them are installed. If a program doesn’t find its configuration file in the user’s home directory, it will often fall back on a sytem-wide default configuration file installed in one of the subdirectories that the package lives in.

  • .bash_logout – file executed by bash shell on logout
  • .bash_profile – initialization of bash shell run only on login. Bash looks first for a .bash_profile file when started as a login shell or with the -login option. If it does not find .bash_profile, it looks for .bash_login. If it doesn’t find that, it looks for .profile. System-wide functions and aliases go in /etc/bashrc and default environment variables go in /etc/profile.
  • .bashrc – initialization command run when bash shell starts up as a non-login shell
  • .cshrc – initialization commands that are run automatically (like autoexec.bat) when C shell is initiated
  • .emacs – configuration file for emacs editor
  • .fvwmrc – configuration file for fvwm window manager
  • .fvwm2rc – configuration file for fvwm2 window manager
  • .jedrc – configuration file for the jed text editor
  • .lessrc – typically contains key bindings for cursor movement with the less command
  • .login – initialization file when user logs in
  • .logout – commands run when user logs out
  • .wm_style – gives choice of default window manager if one is not specified in startx
  • .Xdefaults – sets up X resources for individual user. The behavior of many different application programs can be changed by modifying this file.
  • .xinitrc – initialization file when running startx. Can be used to activate applications, run a given window manager, and modify the appearance of the root window.
  • .xsession – configuration file for xdm