Joseph Muia
GitHub / LinkedIn

strace bash startup files

I’ve seen lots about strace on the Internet (erm, I decided to strace some things.

I’d previously attempted to remap caps lock to escape on Ubuntu. I added setxkbmap -option caps:swapescape to ~/.profile. At the time I sourced the file with the expectation that future logins would also apply the mapping.

However, I noticed that after a restart it was back to caps lock :(

According to ~/.profile “This file is not read by bash(1), if ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bash_login exists.”

Neither of those files exist.

I’ve got a new tool! I can strace bash to see if it’s actually reading ~/.profile for configuration.

jmuia@jmuia:~$ strace -f -e open bash

I saw some familiar startup files, like .bashrc, but no .profile.

So I’ve confirmed it wasn’t reading .profile.

Turns out I need to learn a bit about login shells (which was actually mentioned in .profile, oops).

Published on Aug 28 2018