My .profile file includes the following obscure lines. What are they for?

# (do not remove this comment)
  • Is there an uncommented line immediately after that, which the comment is meant to describe? If so, what is it? – Dan J Nov 6 '11 at 3:20
  • No, the subsequent lines are recognizably from other installers (like RVM). Doing a google search I saw lots of mention of this line but nothing to describe what it was for. It looks like some kind of directive, but I have no idea to what. – user4074 Nov 6 '11 at 17:06
  • It's probably been added by some software (either made by a company called DELUXE, or the software itself is DELUXE), then the installer put that line in there, so any/all options they want to add to your .profile via some settings option in the software can be grouped after that ugly comment. – jmhindle Nov 8 '11 at 20:02

It's there as a placeholder so that scripts that look for it know where to insert their changes into the profile file.

I beleive this was from the default profile created on much older versions of OSX, since my .profile which has moved with me from Panther has this, but my work machine which is from the Leopard/Snow Leopard era does not.

I have seen links to such articles going back to 2005.

It could also have been added by a third party installer, but finding out which one is probably a zero-sum game.


These are just comments, so technically these lines shouldn’t have any functionality.

That said, my ~/.profile file contains only the following, without the comments:

set -xv

That enables the echo and verbose flags, effectively enabling “shell debugging mode”.

I’m using the latest OS X Lion 10.7.3, and haven’t experienced any kind of issue because of the missing comments.

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