LINUX

BASH – What does “rc” in .bashrc stand for

“rc” in .bashrc stand for:

  • It stands for “run commands”.
  • This comes from MIT’s CTSS (Compatible Time-Sharing System) and Multics, where the idea that a command processing shell would be an ordinary program originated.
  • CTSS had a program called RUNCOM (for “run commands”) and a script was called “a runcom” in the community where Unix originated, leading to the file extension .rc and generally to the rc abbreviation.
  • rc stuck as a name for any list of commands.

1.run commands
2.resource control
3.run control
4.runtime configuration

In run control, ESR says so.

His footnote says:

  • The ‘rc’ suffix goes back to Unix’s grandparent, CTSS.It had a command-script feature called “runcom”. Early
    Unixes used ‘rc’ for the name of the operating system’s boot script, as a tribute to CTSS runcom.
  • “run commands” as the default long-form, but admits that context should determine word choice.
  • While not historically precise, rc may also be pronounced as “run control”, because an rc file controls how a program runs.
  • For instance, the editor Vim looks for and reads the contents of the .vimrc file to determine
    its initial configuration.
  • The most sensible pronunciation depends on the function of the file: to start
    something up, or to control how something starts up.
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About the author

Venkatesan Prabu

Venkatesan Prabu

Wikitechy Founder, Author, International Speaker, and Job Consultant. My role as the CEO of Wikitechy, I help businesses build their next generation digital platforms and help with their product innovation and growth strategy. I'm a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events.

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