A bash profile is a file used to store environment settings for your terminal, and it’s accessible by the name ~/.bash_profile.
When a session starts, it loads the contents of the bash profile before executing commands.
~represents the user’s home directory.
.indicates a hidden file.
- The name ~/.bash_profile is important, since this is how the command line recognizes the bash profile.
To open and edit the bash profile, you can use the command:
When you edit the bash profile, you can add commands to execute every time a new terminal session is started.
For example, if you have an
echo statement in the bash profile, that will
echo when a terminal session begins.
To activate the changes made in ~/.bash_profile for the current session, use this following command:
This makes the changes in the bash profile available right away without closing the terminal and needing to start a new session.
Let’s edit the environment settings!
In the terminal, type
This opens up the existing, currently blank bash profile file in nano.
In ~/.bash_profile, at the top of the file, type:
echo "Welcome, Jane Doe"
You can use your name in place of “Jane Doe.”
Type Ctrl + O to save the file.
Press Enter to write the filename.
Type Ctrl + X to exit nano.
Then, once you’ve exited nano and are back in the terminal, press the Enter (or return for Mac) key onto a new line.
Finally, to see this greeting immediately, use: