Trying to understand this piece of code:
if [ -f /etc/bashrc ]; then . /etc/bashrc fi
I'm not sure what the -f means exactly.
The relevant man page to check for this is that of the shell itself,
-f is functionality that the shell provides, it's a bash built-in.
On my system (CentOS 7), the fine man page covers it. The
grep may not give the same results on other distributions. Nevertheless, if you run
man bash and then search for '-f' it should give the results you require.
$ man bash | grep -A1 '\-f file$' -f file True if file exists and is a regular file. $
In short, the piece of code will source
/etc/bashrc file if it exists, and the existence is verified by
[ command to which
-f is an operator/parameter.
if...then...else...fi statement in shell scripting evaluates exit status of commands - 0 on success. So it's proper to do something like this:
if ping -c 4 google.com; then echo "We have a connection!" fi
The command, in your case, is
[ which is also known as
test command. So it'd be perfectly valid to do
if test -f /etc/bashrc; then . /etc/bashrc fi
The -f flag verifies two things: the provided path exists and is a regular file. If
/etc/bashrc is in fact a directory or missing, test should return non-zero exit status to signal failure
This command originally was a separate command, that is not part of shell's built-in commands. Nowadays, most Bourne-like shells have it as built-in, and that's what shell will use.
On a side note, the
/etc/bashrc seems like unnecessary extra file that your admin or original author of the code snippet is using. There exists
/etc/bash.bashrc, which is intended as system-wide rc-file for bash, so one would expect that to be used.