In these and other applications what does the "RC" stand for?


3 Answers 3


There's a bit of interesting historical perspective about its derivation on this page:

"rc" derives from "runcom", from the MIT CTSS system, ca. 1965.

and that

"rc" in Unix is a fossil from that usage.'


It stands for Run Commands

And as the name already says it can contain a listing of commands to run. For example in a xinitrc file You can list commands to run when initializing X. so you can make a Xterm window popup, or load GDM/Gnome.

  • 1
    Although, this isn't always the case, for example, Gimp stores it's configuration files in files named colorrc, contextrc, controllerrc, etc.
    – MiffTheFox
    Commented May 23, 2010 at 13:46

It stands for Run Commands.

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