So, I don't have
.profile in my home folder. How do I create them? After that, what should I do so every time I open the terminal these files get read?
You can use the
to go to the home directory.
Now we will create a file called
.bash_profile (the dot means that it will be hidden).
vi in the Terminal. Unless you know what
vi is, just use
nano. To open up these files, you would use:
sudo nano .bash_profile
sudo makes sure that you will be able to save these files. Here, you can add
vi will automatically create a new file if it does not exist in your current directory in Terminal.
After you are finished, press Ctrl + O, Enter, and Ctrl + X to save and quit. Finally, use
to reload the Terminal and it will read what you put in those files.
Of course, you can alias that too if you want. :)
To answer your final question, these files will automatically be read every time you open the Terminal. However, if there is an error (For instance, don't put spaces between aliases), it will tell you.
As George pointed out,
.bash_profile will run only on login shells. For non-login shells, you would need to create a
.bashrc file with:
sudo nano .bashrc
You can copy those files from /etc/skel/ which are skeleton files for new users created by command like useradd on Debian based distros:
cp -nr /etc/skel/. ~/
These files will be automatically loaded by shell every time you log in. Way of loading those profile files is described your shell manual page. In case you use bash shell in special way (e.g., via ssh, ansible, etc...) you should use 'bash -ilc "command you want to execute in ENV prepared by those profile files"'. -i means interactive shell what is often required by .bashrc -l login shell which causes .profile to be loaded (or .bash_profile is exists - see manual page of bash) which then loads .bashrc
You can also use a GUI text editor like TextEdit:
touch ~/.bash_profile open -e ~/.bash_profile
open -e is a shortcut for
open -a TextEdit.
You don't necessarily have to create .profile or .bashrc. Terminal and iTerm 2 open new shells as login shells, so bash doesn't read .bashrc. If both .bash_profile and .profile exist, bash reads only .bash_profile when it is invoked as an interactive login shell. .profile is read by ksh when it is invoked as an interactive login shell and by bash when it is invoked as sh as an interactive login shell.
I have actually told iTerm 2 to open new shells as non-login shells, and my .bash_profile just contains a line like
. ~/.bashrc. tmux and the shell mode in emacs open new shells as non-login shells by default. .bash_profile is still read when I ssh to my computer.