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I've changed my login shell to zsh from bash on an installation of Debian Squeeze with XFCE. When I launch xfce4-terminal, zsh starts but does not load my configuration.

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    You'll have to give more information. What configuration is not being loaded? Do you get different behavior from zsh in different circumstances on the same machine? Do you have a .zshrc? Post the output of ps $$; echo $ZSH_VERSION; ls -l ~/.zshrc in that XFCE terminal. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 19 '11 at 21:28
  • @Gilles - I do have a .zshrc file. ZSH loads fine on a TTY or when I manually run zsh. I'll get output later this evening. – Larry G. Wapnitsky Apr 20 '11 at 12:25
  • @Gilles - Oddly, it started working last night after a reboot (which I had done already). – Larry G. Wapnitsky Apr 21 '11 at 10:24
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    You probably put your settings in .zprofile or .zlogin. Short answer: you should put your settings in .zshrc or .zshenv instead. – Mikel Apr 23 '11 at 3:37
  • @Mikel - they were in .zshrc – Larry G. Wapnitsky Apr 26 '11 at 13:08
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You changed the shell in your user profile, but since you were already logged in your environment variables had already been set and xfce4-terminal was assuming you would want to use whatever was set as your shell when the environment got initiated. If you had logged out of everything on the machine or authenticated another way like logging in with SSH, it would have worked as well.

Many terminal programs have their own preferences for what shell to launch in them. These preferences can use any program you are allowed to run as the shell, including any system authorized shells. When you authenticate against the system, the first thing it will give you is always the shell in your profile, but after that you are free to run whatever.

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  • I had rebooted previously with little effect. The one magic reboot and all was working and has been since. – Larry G. Wapnitsky Apr 26 '11 at 13:08
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    In the unix world there isn't a magic reboot, one isn't different from another. Something else had to have changed in between times for the last one have the expected effect. – Caleb Apr 26 '11 at 13:14
  • yeah, i know, but i changed nothing. – Larry G. Wapnitsky Apr 26 '11 at 15:36

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