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Old 09-04-2007, 08:35 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Where can I read about the difference between "..profile" and ".profile"?


I know from reading O Riley's Classic Shell Scripting' that the .profile file is " the shells configuration file" but I am unable to find a reference to what "..profile" means. I have searched on the net, Sams Teach Yourself Unix, Unix Visual Quickstart Guide and Linux in a Nutshell. I have look through a few man pages, also.

The context is a worksheet I was given by a friend who once learnt unix by reading manuals in which the question 'what is .profile' and what is '..profile'? is asked. I don't want to be told what it is, but if someone could point me to the appropriate resource or explain how they would research it I would be very grateful.



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Old 09-04-2007, 09:11 PM   #2
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.profile is the hidden file in your login/home dir if you use ksh (korn shell).
bash uses .bash_profile ( and .bashrc).
I've never heard of ..profile, although in Unix '.' specifies the current dir, whereas '..' specifies the parent dir (ie one above the one you are in at anytime).
Old 09-04-2007, 11:04 PM   #3
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I've never seen any file with ".." at the front. Where did you see this?
Old 09-05-2007, 12:53 AM   #4
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Perhaps the OP is referring to the command
. .profile
# or
. ./.profile
(note the space between the dots) which can be used to reload the .profile file.
Old 09-05-2007, 01:26 AM   #5
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Looking at the bash man page, I can see that the .profile will be read by bash if both .bash_profile and .bash_login are missing from the home directory.

A file named ..profile isn't special in any way, but jlliagre may have been right in that it's a reference to . ./.profile which is how you source the file named .profile in the current directory. This builtin command is also documented in the bash man page. The first dot is an alias for source, The second dot is a reference to the current directory (as chrism suggested), and the third dot is the first character in the file name.

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bash, shell

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