Modifying Your Bash Profile

If you installed OS X 10.3 from scratch, chances are your default Unix shell is bash. Those who upgraded from 10.2 (or earlier) will find that opening a new Terminal windows presents a tcsh shell instead. The shopt commands only work with the bash shell as the default, so if your default isn't bash (the title bar reads Terminal - tcsh ), open Terminal's preferences, and under When Creating A New Terminal Window, select the line that reads Execute This Command (Specify Complete Path) and type

Close preferences, and from now on, each new Terminal window will open as a bash shell.

Now, in order to create or edit your .bash_profile file, open a new Terminal window and type

and press Return--this launches the Pico editor. If you've edited this file before, you may see previous commands in the file. If so, use the down arrow to scroll to a blank line. If the file is new, you can skip that step and just begin typing.

To add the specific example from September's Mac OS X Hints column, add these two lines (with a Return between them):

If you feel like it, add more shortcut definitions below the websrv line (you can always come back later as well). When you're done, type Control-O to save the file, press Return to confirm, then press Control-X to quit Pico. When you open a new Terminal window, you'll now have your handy shortcuts ready to use. -- ROB GRIFFITHS

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