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 that 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 (.login, .cshrc, .profile) in the user's home directory. See "Customizing a User's Work Environment" for detailed information about customizing user initialization files for users. After you create the customized user initialization files, you can add them to a user's home directory when you create a new user account.
A recommended one-time task is to set up separate directories, called skeleton directories, on a server (you can use the same server where the user's home directories are stored). The skeleton directories enable you to store customized user initialization files for different types of users.
Do not use system initialization files (/etc/profile, /etc/.login) to manage a user's work environment, because they 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, then you would have to modify the system initialization files on each system to ensure a consistent environment when a user moved from system to system.
Another way to customize user accounts is through role-based access control. See "Role-Based Access Control" in System Administration Guide, Volume 2 for more information.