ARCHIVED: In Unix, what are some common dot files?

In Unix, files and directories beginning with a period (.) typically hold settings for programs. Here are brief descriptions of many common dot files, generally stored in the root directory of your account:

.addressbook Email address information
.addressbook.lu Email address information
.article
Most recently edited news posting
.bash_history
Previously executed commands for bash shell
.bashrc Initialization for bash shell
.cshrc
Initialization for csh and tcsh shells
.elm/
Directory for Elm mail program configuration
.emacs
Initialization and key-mappings for Emacs editor
.exrc
Settings used by vi and ex editors
.forward Mail forwarding destination
.gopherrc
Gopher information, including bookmarks
.hushlogin
Suppress message-of-the-day during login
.iscreenrc
Initialization file for screen program
.login
Startup commands for login shell
.logout
Commands to execute upon exiting shell
.lynxrc
Configuration for Lynx web browser
.mh_profile
Mail Handler configuration information
.ncftp/
Configuration directory for ncftp FTP client
.news_sig
Alternate signature file, included in editing
.newsrc
Newsgroup and article information for newsreaders
.nn/
Configuration directory for nn newsreader
.oldnewsrc
Backup of previous copy of .newsrc file
.pgp/
Configuration directory for PGP
.pinerc
Configuration information for Pine mail program
.plan
File of information displayed by finger
.profile
Initialization file for ksh, bash, and sh shells
.project
Brief line of information displayed by finger
.rhosts
Users not requiring password to log in
.rnlast
Information from last session of newsreader
.rnsoft
Soft-pointer information for newsreaders
.signature
Brief file appended to email and news postings
.ssh/
Configuration directory for ssh1 and openssh
.ssh2/
Configuration directory for ssh2
.tcshrc Initialization for tcsh shell
.telnetrc Configuration for telnet
.tin/
Configuration directory for tin newsreader
.zlogin
Initialization for zsh run upon login after .zshrc
.zlogout
Commands to execute upon exiting zsh shell
.zshenv
Initialization for all zsh invocations
.zshrc
Initialization for all interactive zsh sessions

Note: zsh and rsh are not available any UITS systems.

You can include dot files in a directory listing by using the -a option with the ls command, which will list all of the files in the current directory, including the dot files. At the Unix prompt, enter:

  ls -a

To list all of the dot files in your home directory, at the Unix prompt, enter:

  ls -lad ~/.*

At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?

This is document afyy in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2016-12-06 11:10:15.

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