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I have a .bash_profile in my home directory, but it isn't getting run on login. If I do the following, then things seem to be as I expect:

ssh myhost
bash
source ~/.bash_profile

But normally that all happens on login. Thoughts?

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1  
Also make sure that you don't have a ~/.profile or ~/.bash_login, as only one of the three is sourced. (I forgot the exact order.) –  grawity Sep 25 '09 at 15:20
    
Why do you have a different question in the title and different one in the body of your post? –  pabouk Nov 9 '13 at 10:25

4 Answers 4

up vote 55 down vote accepted

Use:

chsh

Enter your password and state the path to the shell you want to use. For Bash that would be /bin/bash.

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11  
+1 - not sure why the OP decided that editing the password file was a better choice, but this is the best answer –  kdgregory Sep 25 '09 at 12:51
    
Yeah beat me to it, this is the standard way. –  John T Sep 25 '09 at 13:49
    
And on ubuntu the path to the shell you want to use is... /bin/bash (and /bin/sh is not the same) –  Harry Wood Mar 2 '12 at 1:01
    
You saved my day!! –  Surya Dec 24 '13 at 13:41
3  
Or you can use sudo chsh -s /bin/bash username –  Oleg Vaskevich Jan 21 at 4:03

On top of akira's answer, you can also edit your /etc/passwd file to specify your default shell.

You will find a line like this example:

john:x:1000:1000:john,,,:/home/john:/bin/sh

The shell is specified at the end.

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7  
Better to use the 'chsh' command as suggested by akira -- less chance to screw something up by mistake. –  Lars Haugseth Sep 25 '09 at 13:17
4  
not to mention 'chsh' is available when you can't write to /etc/passwd –  quack quixote Oct 7 '09 at 11:30
    
But if you so have access to modifying the /etc/passwd and you're careful, John's answer is making good use of the tools the system provides. –  AJP Apr 26 at 11:00
    
You must log out and log back in to see this change. –  Neil Traft Jul 6 at 22:01

You might check your terminal program. It might be configured to run /bin/sh rather than /bin/bash

Bash executes .bash_profile only for login sessions. .bashrc is executed for all bash sessions, not only login sessions. Try sourcing .bash_profile from .bashrc (avoid circular dependency!) or configuring your terminal program to run /bin/bash -l as a shell program.

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1  
terminal program has nothing to do with the problem because it is the sshd on the remote machine, which spawns the new shell. –  akira Sep 26 '09 at 4:31

One alternative is to rename your startup script into .profile. This file is being source by most Unix shells.

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