When a bash session is started, the bash shell reads the .bashrc file and executes any commands it finds.  You may want to edit this file to: automatically add software modules when the shell loads, configure your bash prompt and any other task you deem appropriate. 

How do I add software modules to my .bashrc file so that they automatically load when I start a session? You can open/edit your .bashrc file, by starting a session on grace and typing

nano .bashrc 

You should now see something that resembles the image below.

An example of a .bashrc file


Looking at the above image, note the line which starts with "#  Add default modules to load here:" You can add the modules which you want to load automatically to this line:

This will load matlab/2012a and stata/11 module automatically

module add matlab/2012a stata/11

A completed example is shown below. Please note that a hash symbol denotes a comment, and as such anything post the hash symbol is ignored. Once you are happy with your edited file, hit:

"Ctrl + x" on your keyboard, then enter "y" and finally hit enter to save the file.

An example of a .bashrc file where "matlab/2012a and stata/11" have been added


Changing ls colours in bash

The default colours associated with file types can be changed. The image below shows a default colour scheme. Follow the instructions below to edit colour properties.

Default colour scheme

Enter the statements below into a terminal, you should now have something that resembles the image below

  • cp /etc/DIR_COLORS ~/.dir_colors (Image below)
  • vi ~/.dir_colors (Image below)


Editing the file


  • Navigate to what you wish to change (Using your keyboard arrows)
  • Press the "i" key on your keyboard. This tells the editor to allow you to insert text.
  • Update the value you wish to change (e.g.  - directory colour from "DIR 01;34" to "DIR 01;33" which changes the directory colour to yellow (Image below) 

When you have finished editing the file hit "Esc" then enter ":wq" this saves the file

You will need to restart your session, by logging out and back in again for the changes to be reflected (Image below)

Viewing the colour changes