bashrc vs bash_profile

On the subject of bashrc

I’ve always been confounded by the presence of both .bashrc and .bash_profile and how they related.

It turns out to be simple, but 0% intuitive:

  • .bashrc is invoked for non-login, interactive shells
  • .bash_profile is invoked for login shells

The difference is powerful, surely, but also annoying. Most of the time, you just want something to always run in bash, and you don’t care about login vs. non-login.

Which is why it’s recommended to have .bash_profile merely source .bashrc.

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