CGD Computing FAQs

Unix Dot Files

Your Unix startup "dot files" are files in your home directory (/home/username) that control your Unix environment variables and the way Unix programs run.. They are called "dot files" because the filenames all begin with a dot (.). In Unix, files that start with a dot are also called hidden files, and you can only see them if you use the -a switch in an ls command: ls -a

The startup "dot files" are executed everytime you log in to a CGD server.

On Monday, August 4, 2003 CGD Systems put into place new startup "dot" files, with a major modification of these dot files in May 2004. If your dot files are older than this, you should upgrade to the newest versions. These are the "dot files" that were updated:


To upgrade your dot files, copy your current dot files to <dotfile>-old and then copy the new versions to your home directory

cd /home/username
cp .login .login-old
cp .logout .logout-old
cp .tcshrc .tcshrc-old

cp /usr/local/etc/skel/user/.login .
cp /usr/local/etc/skel/user/.logout .
cp /usr/local/etc/skel/user/.tcshrc .

If you had any customizations in any of these files, you should copy the customizations only from <dotfile>-old into the new <dotfile>.


If you have any aliases, we recommend that you put them in another "dot file" called .aliases. The .aliases file will be executed automatically when you login to a system. Keeping your aliases separate from your other startup "dot files" will make them easier to organize.

Is /contrib first in your path?

Many users have been experiencing problems with programs running on the Sun systems because /contrib is first in their path. This will run the version of the program that is in /contrib. /contrib is not maintained by ISG, so many of these programs won't work. All the updated and maintained versions of Unix programs are in /usr/local.

If your "dot files" are older than Aug.2003, please copy the new startup "dot files" as discussed above. However, if you already upgraded to the new dot files since Aug. 2003, and you are still experiencing problems, look to make sure /contrib is not first in your path. You can do this by running the Unix command "which" <programname>. For example, if typing in which emacs shows /contrib/bin/emacs, that means you are running the wrong version of emacs. If you update your .login dot file in the two sections shown below, typing in which emacs will show /usr/local/bin/emacs, which is the correct version.

There are two sections in your .login file that may be wrong. You will find them under LINUX: and default. If these sections in your .login file look like the wrong version, please update them to the correct version.

IMPORTANT: You must log out and log back in again for any changes in your dot files to take effect.

WRONG .login

case LINUX:

# Adding /contrib
setenv PATH /contrib/bin:${PATH}
setenv MANPATH /contrib/man:${MANPATH}
setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH /contrib/lib:${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}

setenv PATH /contrib/bin:${PATH}:${HOME}/bin:${HOME}/scripts
setenv MANPATH /contrib/man:${MANPATH}:${HOME}/man
setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH /contrib/lib:${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}:${HOME}/lib

CORRECT .login

case LINUX:

# Adding /contrib
setenv PATH ${PATH}:/contrib/bin
setenv MANPATH ${MANPATH}:/contrib/man
setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH ${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}:/contrib/lib
setenv XAPPLRESDIR ${XAPPLRESDIR}:/contrib/lib/X11/app-defaults


setenv PATH ${PATH}:/contrib/bin:${HOME}/bin:${HOME}/scripts setenv MANPATH ${MANPATH}:/contrib/man:${HOME}/man
setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH ${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}:/contrib/lib:${HOME}/lib


If you have any other questions or concerns, please