Home > Articles > Certification > Other IT

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

User Account Initialization Files

Several initialization (or startup) files are associated with each user account home directory. These files are used to specify commands to be executed when the associated event occurs. Depending on the login shell being used (Bourne Shell, C Shell, or Korn Shell), there might be a login initialization file, a shell startup file, or a logout file. Table 3.8 lists the various initialization files.

Table 3.8 Initialization Files

File

Bourne (sh)

C (csh)

Korn (ksh)

Login initialization file

.profile

.login

.profile

Shell startup initialization file

N/A

.cshrc

user-defined

Logout file

N/A

.logout

N/A


Commands in the login initialization file are executed when the user logs in. All three common shells provide a login initialization file. Commands in the shell startup file are executed whenever the logged-in user starts a shell. Both csh and ksh provide this capability. The ENV parameter is used to define the name of the ksh shell startup initialization file. Only csh provides a file for automatic execution of commands when a user logs out.

CAUTION

It is important to know the names of the initialization files and their uses, not only for the Bourne shell, but also the C and Korn shells.

The System Profile

For user accounts that use sh (Bourne shell) or ksh as a login shell, commands in the system profile are executed before the user's login initialization file. This file is named /etc/profile and, when executed, sets a default terminal type (TERM) and then calls umask(1) to set the default file permission mask to 022. If the user's home directory does not include a file by the name of .hushlogin, the user's storage quota is displayed using quot(1M), the message of the day (if any) is displayed, and a notification message is displayed if new email has arrived for the user.

The following listing shows the default contents of /etc/profile for a Solaris 9 system:

#ident "@(#)profile  1.19  01/03/13 SMI"  /* SVr4.0 1.3  */
# The profile that all logins get before using their own .profile.

trap "" 2 3
export LOGNAME PATH
if [ "$TERM" = "" ]
then
    if /bin/i386
    then
        TERM=sun-color
    else
        TERM=sun
    fi
    export TERM
fi
#    Login and -su shells get /etc/profile services.
#    -rsh is given its environment in its .profile.
case "$0" in
-sh | -ksh | -jsh | -bash)
    if [ ! -f .hushlogin ]
    then
        /usr/sbin/quota
        #    Allow the user to break the Message-Of-The-Day only.
        trap "trap '' 2" 2
        /bin/cat -s /etc/motd
        trap "" 2
        /bin/mail -E
        case $? in
        0)
            echo "You have new mail."
            ;;
        2)
            echo "You have mail."
            ;;
        esac
    fi
esac
umask 022
trap 2 3

Initialization File Templates

When a user account is created and a home directory specified, part of setting up the user account is to copy the appropriate default initialization files to the user's home directory. These initial files or templates are stored in the /etc/skel directory.

For user accounts that use sh or ksh as the login shell, the /etc/skel/local.profile file is copied to the .profile file in the user's home directory. The following listing shows the default contents of the /etc/skel/local.profile file:

# Copyright (c) 2001 by Sun Microsystems, Inc.
# All rights reserved.
#
# ident "@(#)local.profile   1.10  01/06/23 SMI"
stty istrip
PATH=/usr/bin:/usr/ucb:/etc:.
export PATH
#

For user accounts that use csh as the login shell, the /etc/skel/local.login file is copied to the .login file in the user's home directory. The following listing shows the default contents of the /etc/skel/local.login file:

# Copyright (c) 2001 by Sun Microsystems, Inc.
# All rights reserved.
#
# ident "@(#)local.login    1.7   01/06/23 SMI"
stty -istrip
# setenv TERM ´tset -Q -´

In addition, for user accounts that use csh as the login shell, the /etc/skel/local.cshrc file is copied to the .cshrc file in the user's home directory. The following listing shows the default contents of the /etc/skel/local.cshrc file:

#ident "@(#)local.cshrc    1.2   00/05/01 SMI"
umask 022
set path=(/bin /usr/bin /usr/ucb /etc .)
if ( $?prompt ) then
    set history=32
endif

Also in the /etc/skel directory is a simple .profile that can also be used as a default:

#    This is the default standard profile provided to a user.
#    They are expected to edit it to meet their own needs.

MAIL=/usr/mail/${LOGNAME:?}

When an account is created using the admintool command, the appropriate /etc/skel file is copied to the home directory of the user account based on the selected login shell (that is, .profile for Bourne and Korn shells, .cshrc for C shell, and so on). However when the useradd command is used, all the /etc/skel files (.profile, local.cshrc, local.login, and local.profile) are copied to the home directory regardless of the selected shell. In this case, the appropriate file(s) (based on type of shell) must be manually configured.

Customizing the User Environment

The initialization file templates can be modified to provide a custom environment for new user accounts. In addition, the system profile (/etc/profile) can be modified to customize the environment for all users during login initialization.

CAUTION

Keep in mind that the system profile, /etc/profile, is executed before the user's profile. This provides the ability to control and restrict the user environment before the user has an opportunity to make any modifications.

To customize individual user accounts, the initialization files in the user's home directories can be modified. For the most part, this will consist of adding commands to be automatically executed or defining shell parameters.

Defining Shell Variables in .profile

Variables defined and exported in the .profile become part of the user's environment. These variables are available to programs and shells executed by the user.

A common shell variable defined in the .profile is LPDEST, which is used to specify a default printer. To define HPLaser as the default printer, include the following in the .profile for a user account:

LPDEST=HPLaser
export LPDEST

An alternative way is to specify both commands on the same line and separate the commands with a semicolon, as shown in the following:

LPDEST=HPLaser; export LPDEST

A similar syntax can be used for a user account that uses the Korn shell as a login shell. ksh also supports the following variation:

export LPDEST=HPLaser

Although defining variables for csh user accounts is not a certification requirement, the syntax for two csh methods of defining variables is shown in the following listing:

set LPDEST=HPlaser
setenv LPDEST HPlaser

NOTE

Changes made to the user's login initialization file do not take effect until the user logs in again, or until the .profile is executed by preceding it with a dot separated by a space. This executes the .profile and makes it part of the current environment.

Sourcing .profile

For user accounts that use the Solaris Common Desktop Environment (CDE), the /usr/dt/bin/Xsession command that starts the desktop can be configured to read and process the .login (csh) or .profile (sh and ksh) login initialization file in the user's home directory as part of the startup process.

The first user-specific file that Xsession calls is the .dtprofile file, located in the user's home directory. The last line of the default .dtprofile file is as follows:

DTSOURCEPROFILE=true

This will cause the .login or .profile file to be executed (or sourced) automatically. To change this default behavior and prevent the login initialization file from being sourced, change true to false.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020