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For bash users, there
are two files of interest: .bashrc and .bash_profile.
These are (or should be) located in your home directory. The .bash_profile is sourced for each interactive login session, while the
.bashrc is sourced for all interactive sessions. Normally .bashrc contains most of the setup and is invoked from within .bash_profile.
These files contain settings for a variety of environmental variables, which
are visible to all applications. A good example to look at is ~amit/.bash_profile and ~amit/.bashrc.