So my .profile looks like this:

if [ -n "$BASH_VERSION" ]; then
    # include .bashrc if it exists
    if [ -f "$HOME/.bashrc" ]; then
        . "$HOME/.bashrc"

if [ -f "$HOME/.local/share/profile" ]; then
    . "$HOME/.local/share/profile"

# set PATH so it includes user's private bin directories
export VISUAL=nano
stty -ixon

function test-func {
        echo test-func

alias test-alias='echo test-alias'

When I log into Gnome (on Fedora 35) and open the terminal emulator, I can't execute the function test-func.

$ test-func
bash: test-func: command not found

But when I put the function in my .bashrc file and re-logout and log back in, I am able to execute the test-func function.

Is there a reason why functions added to .profile are not available in the environment?

Edit: So I noticed that when I log in using a non-graphical login (using the Ctrl + Alt + F3 trick), the test-func function is available. Is there a reason why Gnome doesn't make functions in the .profile available to non-login shells?

Edit 2: I also noticed that using a POSIX-compliant syntax for the functions (func-name () { ... } instead of function func-name { ... }) had no effect.

  • See unix.stackexchange.com/questions/88106/…
    – thanasisp
    May 11, 2022 at 23:14
  • What login manager are you using? GDM?
    – frabjous
    May 11, 2022 at 23:17
  • @frabjous whatever the default one that is included with Fedora 35
    – wheeler
    May 11, 2022 at 23:18
  • @thanasisp That answer doesn't explain why functions in .profile aren't loaded in Gnome. I know the .profile is being sourced when I log in, because I can put environment variables in there and they are available in my terminal emulator as well as applications launched directly from Gnome.
    – wheeler
    May 11, 2022 at 23:30
  • I believe it is because on Fedora and other modern systemd-logind based login managers, the graphical login is mediated through the systemd --user daemon. It inherits the environment variables of the login shell that launched it, but it directly executes the processes that start your UI. Your gnome-terminal is a child of that process. As far as the shell in your terminal can tell, it has the inherited environment variables but no functions.
    – jsbillings
    May 11, 2022 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


This might be more like a comment, but since I don't have enough reputation, here are what I've got:

  • This issue is not specifically related to Gnome, I'm on KDE and I'm having it too;
  • If I put the function into ~/.bash_profile, it will be available. Could you confirm the same? If it also happens to you that way, then we have another clue: Fedora treats ~/.profile and ~/.bash_profile differently regarding non-login shells.

It actually treats them differently in regard to login shells: if you login with X, ~/.profile gets sourced first, even before ~/.bash_profile, but when there's no GUI, only ~/.bash_profile is sourced (as the manual describes). You can run journalctl to see that /etc/X11/xinit/Xsession inits the GUI session, and that Xsession script sources /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc-common which seems to exist only on Fedora and which in turn sources ~/.profile.

My two cents.

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