Personalizing start files

Created by Unknown User (bjsmith), last modified on 2022-12-01

You can personalize your NCAR high-performance computing environment by using the sample content below in your startup files – the files that create your interactive login shell. The examples provide alternative color schemes and set some commonly used aliases.

These examples also demonstrate how to define commands to be run for interactive sessions only and commands to be run for all new shells. This distinction can be important if you have some commands in your initialization files that would be disruptive for non-interactive connections, such as when using the scp command (which is not interactable and therefore will not benefit from module loads or aliases) or within a batch script.

If you use bash or ksh, edit your .profile file. If you use tcsh, edit your .tcshrc file. PBS jobs on NCAR systems initialize your job environment with those files, so do not confuse them with .bashrc and .login files, which have different purposes and are not always sourced at login time.)

Personalizing these files is optional; the information is provided in response to users' requests.

Page contents

Keep the following in mind when writing/revising your initialization files:

  • Consider making backup copies of your existing startup files before creating customized files.
  • If you source other scripts in your initialization files, be sure to provide an absolute path to the file (or a consistent reference path like source ~/commands instead of source commands). That way, the script will execute correctly whether it is run from a session within your home directory or anywhere else on the file systems.
  • It is best to include only those commands and settings in your initialization files that are generic to all work you perform. Examples of these include environment variables and module load commands. Any settings specific to a particular workflow, or settings others may need to run your jobs, should be included in relevant shell and PBS batch scripts rather than in your initialization files.
  • Some programs (conda, for example) insert initialization instructions into your startup files. These instructions will be executed for most new shells, including at the start of your PBS jobs.

.profile for bash and ksh users

### Settings for interactive shells only
if [[ $- == *i* ]]; then
    # My Personal Prompt
    #PS1="\u@\h:\w> "
    # Another Colorful Prompt
    PS1="\[\e[1;31;40m\]\u@\[\e[1;34;40m\]\H:\[\e[1;32;40m\]\w>\[\e[0m\] "
    export PS1

    # Generic Aliases
    alias rm='rm -i'
    alias cp='cp -i'
    alias mv='mv -i'
    alias h="history | grep "
    alias ls="ls --color"
    alias vi="vim"
    alias j='qstat'
    alias more='less'
    alias tail='tail ---disable-inotify -f'
    alias diffcolor='git diff --color=always --color-words'

### Settings for all shells
export PATH=~/bin:$PATH

### Source .bashrc file to make environment more consistent
### (optional - some users prefer this; e.g., conda users)
if [[ -f ~/.bashrc ]]; then
    . ~/.bashrc

.tcshrc for tcsh users

### Settings for interactive shells only
tty > /dev/null
if ( $status == 0 ) then
    # My Personal Prompt
    #set prompt = "%n@%m:%~"
    # Another Colorful Prompt
    set prompt = "%{\033[31;40m%}%n@%{\033[0m%}%{\033[1;34m%}%m:%{\033[0m%}%{\033[32;40m%}%~>%{\033[0m%} "

    # Generic Aliases
    alias rm 'rm -i'
    alias cp 'cp -i'
    alias mv 'mv -i'
    alias h "history | grep "
    alias ls "ls --color"
    alias vi "vim"
    alias j 'qstat'
    alias more 'less'
    alias diffcolor 'git diff --color=always --color-words'

### Settings for all shells
setenv PATH ~/bin:$PATH