Solaris Advanced User's Guide

Modifying Initialization Files

The particular initialization files responsible for your system's configuration depend on which shell the system administrator has specified as your default shell when your system was first installed. The Bourne shell is the default shell for the Solaris operating environment, but you can also use the C shell or Korn shell. Each of these shells has its own initialization file (or files).

To determine your default shell (your login shell), follow these steps.

  1. Type echo $SHELL.

    $ echo $SHELL
  2. Review the output of the command to determine your default shell.

    Refer to the following list to identify your default shell.

    • /bin/sh – Bourne shell

    • /bin/bash – Bourne Again shell

    • /bin/csh – C shell

    • /bin/ksh – Korn shell

    • /bin/tcsh – TC shell

    • /bin/zsh – Z shell

Regardless of the shell you are using, when you first log in your system generally runs the system profile file, /etc/profile. This file is generally owned by the system administrator and is readable (but not writable) by all users.

After your system executes the system profile, it runs the user profile. The user profile is one (or more) initialization files that define your working environment. For example, if you're in the CDE environment your system checks this file (or set of files) each time you start a new terminal or window.

Depending on which shell is set up as your default, your user profile can be one of the following:

Your user profile file(s) is located in your home directory and enables you to configure your working environment to your preference.