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Old 10-23-2003, 12:44 AM   #1
pamy
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What are .conf files?


Hi, I've read a past thread in this site (don't know where) describing .conf files, my question is are these files automatically read or do you have to enter some sort of command in order to read the file? Because I downloaded a source code for a program which includes a .conf file.. but I don't know where it is used for since the source code doesn't seem to indicate that the .conf file should be read...
 
Old 10-23-2003, 01:14 AM   #2
slakmagik
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I'm not sure what you're asking. Linux is pretty loose with most extensions but .conf means a configuration file. You have config files that don't end in .conf, though - they may end in 'rc' or in nothing special. If it's, say, 'lilo.conf' it's automatically read by lilo when you run lilo. You generally have a command line option on many apps to *not* read a config file or to use a different one, but otherwise it automatically reads its default file or files.

If it's in a source directory, it will either be called on by the configure/make process or will be installed into its appropriate place by the 'make install' process. Most configuration files go in /etc or in your home directory. In /etc they're usually visible and, in your home, they're usually dot files.

If they do get installed, you can edit them then. If something goes wrong with the build process, you might need to edit those then. Otherwise, you can pretty much ignore a conf file in the source tree if you don't want anything special out of the build.

Hope that helps.
 
Old 10-23-2003, 01:17 AM   #3
Azmeen
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Usually .conf files are configuration files that is non-interactively read by the application in order to help it do some tasks. However, configuring (or composing) .conf files are usually interactive and most modern application will have a frontend to make this editing more user-friendly.

An example would be the Linux kernel itself. It's very rare that you'll need to edit .conf files by hand if you're new... Seasoned users might know a trick or two for a particular application which they would like to configure manually.
 
Old 10-23-2003, 02:14 AM   #4
slakmagik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Azmeen
Usually .conf files are configuration files that is non-interactively read by the application in order to help it do some tasks. However, configuring (or composing) .conf files are usually interactive and most modern application will have a frontend to make this editing more user-friendly.

An example would be the Linux kernel itself. It's very rare that you'll need to edit .conf files by hand if you're new... Seasoned users might know a trick or two for a particular application which they would like to configure manually.
Well, I'd disagree with part of that, in that few graphical configuration interfaces are as complete as your other options. For instance, nedit defaults to using csh for commands and the only way I could see to change it was to specify bash in .Xdefaults. And that's an extremely important issue for anyone trying to use it. Even if there was a gui I was missing for that, the principle applies. But, yeah, gui's cover most of what most users want.
 
Old 10-23-2003, 10:03 AM   #5
Azmeen
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digiot, you're absolutely right... but we're not talking about the .Xdefaults file now are we? The original poster inquired about .conf files, and I'm telling him/her things I know about .conf files and apps that use it in general.
 
  


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