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Which Files Should We Modify?

As a general rule, to add directories to your PATH, or define additional environment vari- ables, place those changes in .bash_profile (or equivalent, according to your distri- bution. For example, Ubuntu uses .profile). For everything else, place the changes in



Note: Unless you are the system administrator and need to change the defaults for all users of the system, restrict your modifications to the files in your home direc- tory. It is certainly possible to change the files in /etc such as profile, and in many cases it would be sensible to do so, but for now, let's play it safe.


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