There is only one file type that uses the .BASH_PROFILE extension:
Bash Interactive Login Shell File
Shell file used by Mac OS X and Linux terminal programs; stores setup instructions for the shell environment, such as environment variables and default scripts to execute; commonly used for setting user command prompt preferences as well as file system paths for directories and program binaries.
BASH_PROFILE files are automatically run for interactive login shells. In other words, they are executed after a user logs in with their login credentials, or when a new terminal window is created. This differs from .BASHRC files, which are run only when Bash shell scripts are executed within a terminal that is already open.
Since users often want to run both BASH_PROFILE and BASHRC files upon login, they often include the following segment in the BASH_PROFILE file, which forces the BASHRC file to be run when only the BASH_PROFILE file is executed:
if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]. Then
NOTE: BASH_PROFILE files are hidden in a user's home directory and do not contain a filename prefix. They always use the filename .bash_profile.
Updated: May 28, 2010