I'm using zsh 5.0.2 (x86_64-apple-darwin12.3.0) on the latest MacOSX. If it makes any difference, I have also enabled oh-my-zsh.

The shell seems to be missing the .zshrc file when I want to source it.

The result of the execution of the following commands should expose my problem clearly. (~ » is my prompt).

The file exists

~ » ls -l .zshrc
-rw-r--r--  1 user  staff  1882 May 16 10:43 .zshrc
~ » [[ -r .zshrc ]] && echo "Exists"

The file isn't read by "."

~ » . .zshrc
.: no such file or directory: .zshrc

I don't know what causes this behavior, especially that this works

~ » . "$(pwd)"/.zshrc

My question is:

Why won't . .zshrc work?


The . command searches for the file in your $path, it does not by default search in the current directory. That is why it works when you give the absolute path ("$(pwd)"/.zshrc).

From the zsh manual about the . command:

. file [ arg ... ]

Read commands from file and execute them in the current shell environment.

If file does not contain a slash, or if PATH_DIRS is set, the shell looks in the components of $path to find the directory containing file. Files in the current directory are not read unless ‘.’ appears somewhere in $path.


Compare to the source command:

source file [ arg ... ]

Same as ‘.’, except that the current directory is always searched and is always searched first, before directories in $path.

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