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NERSC User Environment

Home Directories, Shells and Startup Files

All NERSC systems (except PDSF) use global home directories, which are are pre-populated with startup files (also known as dot files) for all available shells.  NERSC fully supports bash, csh, and tcsh as login shells.  Other shells (ksh, sh, and zsh) are also available.  The default shell at NERSC is csh.

Changing Your Default Login Shell

Use the NERSC Information management (NIM) portal if you want to to change your default login shell.  To do this, select Change Shell from the NIM Actions pull-down menu.

Managing Your Startup Files

The "standard" dot-files are symbolic links to read-only files that NERSC controls. For each standard dot-file, there is a user-writable ".ext" file. For example, C-shell users are generally concerned with the files .login and .cshrc, which are read-only at NERSC. These users should put their customizations in .login.ext and .cshrc.ext. For stretegies on managing different customizations for diffferent systems see Global Home File System.

Using Modules to Manage Access to Software

Users should not have to modify their path directly.  Instead, the module utility is used to set environment variables for NERSC software, including a lot of software that is loaded by default.  Simply ``load'' and ``unload'' modules to control your environment.  See Modules Software Environment.