If you enter the command info bash and do a search for .bash_profile you can get more information.
To save you time here is a snippet from the info display.
Invoked as an interactive login shell, or with `--login'
When Bash is invoked as an interactive login shell, or as a
non-interactive shell with the `--login' option, it first reads and
executes commands from the file `/etc/profile', if that file exists.
After reading that file, it looks for `~/.bash_profile',
`~/.bash_login', and `~/.profile', in that order, and reads and
executes commands from the first one that exists and is readable. The
`--noprofile' option may be used when the shell is started to inhibit
When a login shell exits, Bash reads and executes commands from the
file `~/.bash_logout', if it exists.
I think that the ~/.bash_login script is intended for logging in to via a tty connection, whereas ~/.bash_profile is what is normally used.
.bash_profile is where you add to the default $PATH
whereas .bashrc, is where you would enter user aliases.
Note that we made the assumption that you are using an X windows session manager to log-in. These bash startup files execute when bash is started a log-in shell. If you start your session by typing startx. You might want to include a script in the ~/.kde/Autostart/ folder instead.
You will want to look around for a .bash_logout equivalent for a KDE session.
Last edited by jschiwal; 12-17-2003 at 04:39 PM.