Initialization Files

All ITS UNIX accounts are created with two initialization files:


When you login to your account, your .cshrc file is sourced first, followed by your .login file.

The .cshrc file determines the architecture and operating system of the host you have logged in to and defines some shell variables and aliases appropriately. The .login file defines some environment variables.

The default .cshrc and .login files are located in /usr/usc/skel. If your files ever get corrupted, you can copy the default files into
your account and overwrite those corrupted files. If your .login or .cshrc files become corrupted, you may notice that your prompt has changed to a ‘>’ or a ‘$’. You may also be getting “command not found” errors for common commands. To copy the default files into your account, enter:

    source /usr/usc/skel/.login
    source /usr/usc/skel/.cshrc
    cp /usr/usc/skel/.cshrc .
    cp /usr/usc/skel/.login .

You can add commands to your .cshrc and .login files to define other shell and environment variables.

Once you have made changes to your .cshrc or .login files, you will need to log out of your ITS UNIX account and then back into it for the changes to take effect.

All ITS UNIX accounts are configured to use the C-shell (csh), by default. If you change your default shell to a T-shell (tcsh), you should copy your .cshrc file to a .tcshrc file by typing:

    cp .cshrc .tcshrc

You can then add commands to your .tcshrc file to define shell variables for tcsh.

Other Initialization Files

Many applications have initialization files as well, which are sourced when you open the application. Some examples:

pine .pinerc
gopher .gopherrc
emacs .emacs
ftp .netrc

Often, you may edit these files to define variables or add commands.