.BASH_PROFILE File Extension

Bash Interactive Login Shell File

Developer The GNU Project
3.8  |  28 Votes

What is a BASH_PROFILE file?

Shell file used by Mac OS X and Linux terminal programs; stores setup instructions for the shell environment, such as environment variables and default scripts to execute; commonly used for setting user command prompt preferences as well as file system paths for directories and program binaries.

More Information

BASH_PROFILE files are automatically run for interactive login shells. In other words, they are executed after a user logs in with their login credentials, or when a new terminal window is created. This differs from .BASHRC files, which are run only when Bash shell scripts are executed within a terminal that is already open.

Since users often want to run both BASH_PROFILE and BASHRC files upon login, they often include the following segment in the BASH_PROFILE file, which forces the BASHRC file to be run when only the BASH_PROFILE file is executed:

if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]. Then
  source ~/.bashrc

NOTE: BASH_PROFILE files are hidden in a user's home directory and do not contain a filename prefix. They always use the filename .bash_profile.

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Programs that open or reference BASH_PROFILE files

Included with OS

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