I have set my terminal preferences to execute:

 set -o vi 

at startup. The problem is I don't get that command executed when open a new terminal tab.

Is there something like .profile in OS X where I can put that command?

2 Answers 2


The .profile file in MacOSX works exactly how you would expect. Simply create the .profile file in your user directory if it doesn't exist.

  • Ooohhh!!! Thank you. I got confused by the fact it wasn't there. I've create it and runs perfectly. Years ago OXS used tcsh, do you know which one is used currently? bash I guess?
    – OscarRyz
    Jul 15, 2009 at 11:51
  • 3
    Yes, by default Terminal uses bash. Jul 15, 2009 at 12:33
  • does profile require #!/bin/bash header?
    – the_prole
    Nov 20, 2018 at 21:03

Because, as noted, Terminal has used bash by default for a few versions, you may want to keep an eye out for a .bash_profile file if .profile isn't present. See the "which startup files are read by the shell?" FAQ at http://hayne.net/MacDev/Notes/unixFAQ.html#shellStartup which explain how the different files are used and the order in which they're read at startup.

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