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Linux Configuration Files
and What They Do

Dave Carlson - June 6, 2012


Common Linux Configuration File Names and Primary Purpose

FILE LOCATIOIN FILE PURPOSE
/etc/profile System wide environment variables for all users.
/etc/fstab List of devices and their associated mount points. Edit this file to add CD-ROMs, DOS partitions, and floppy drives at startup.
/etc/motd Message of the day broadcast to all users at login.
etc/rc.d/rc.local Bash script that is executed at the end of the login process. It is similar to autoexec.bat in DOS.
/etc/HOSTNAME Conatins full hostname, including domain.
/etc/cron.* There are 4 directories that automatically execute all scripts within the directory at intervals of hour, day, week, or month.
/etc/hosts A list of all know host names and IP addresses on the machine.
/etc/httpd/conf Paramters for the Apache web server.
/etc/skel Template files for new users.
/etc/default Default location for certain commands.
/etc/redhat-release RedHat version info (Linux kernel version with uname Ėa)
/etc/inittab Specifies the run level into which the machine should boot.
/etc/group
/etc/passwd
/etc/shadow
User account information (groups and passwords).
/etc/bashrc
/etc/profile
$HOME/.bashrc
$HOME/.bash_profile
BASH system wide and personal user init files.
/etc/csh.cshrc
/etc/csh.login
$HOME/.cshrc
$HOME/.tcshrc
$HOME/.login
TSCH system wide and personal user init files.
/etc/resolv.conf Defines IP addresses of DNS servers.
/etc/smb.conf Config file for the SAMBA server. Allows file and print sharing with Microsoft clients.
/etc/X11/XF86Config Config file for X-Windows.
    ~/.xinitrc Defines the windows manager loaded by X.
    ~ refers to userís home directory.
 

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