Besides having a home directory to create and store files, users need an environment that gives them access to the tools and resources they need to do their work. When a user logs in to a system, the user's work environment is determined by initialization files. These files are defined by the user's startup shell, such as the C, Korn, or Bourne shell.
A good strategy for managing the user's work environment is to provide customized user initialization files, such as .login, .cshrc, .profile, in the user's home directory.
Do not use system initialization files, such as /etc/profile or /etc/.login, to manage a user's work environment. These files reside locally on systems and are not centrally administered. For example, if AutoFS is used to mount the user's home directory from any system on the network, you would have to modify the system initialization files on each system to ensure a consistent environment whenever a user moved from system to system.
For detailed information about customizing user initialization files for users, see Customizing a User's Work Environment.
Another way to customize user accounts is through role-based access control (RBAC). See Role-Based Access Control (Overview) in System Administration Guide: Security Services for more information.