The configuration of your user account on a Linux system simplifies your use of the system in a multitude of ways. You can run commands without knowing where they’re located. You can reuse previously run commands without worrying how the system is keeping track of them. You can look at your email, view man pages, and get back to your home directory easily no matter where you might have wandered off to in the file system. And, when needed, you can tweak your account settings so that it works even more to your liking.
Linux environment settings come from a series of files — some are system-wide (meaning they affect all user accounts) and some are configured in files that are sitting in your home directory. The system-wide settings take effect when you log in and local ones take effect right afterwards, so the changes that you make in your account will override system-wide settings. For bash users, these files include these system files: