environment configuration on a gnome desktop
using the gnome window manager, the environment variables should be
set up in the .gnomerc file. The ~/.gnomerc file is
loaded by gnome when it starts. It allows variables to be accessible
directly by applications launched by gnome. For example, adding the
jre1.5/bin path to the PATH environment variable allow java
applications to use the 1.5 version of the java machine.
User specific environment variables
# Java related stuffs
other hand, aliases are specific to terminals. So they should be set
whenever a shell is started. Interactive shell (which aren't login
shells) only read the .bashrc file. This file can then
source a .bash_aliases file where all custom aliases should
# User specific aliases
alias emacs='emacs -bg
black -fg grey'
the bash manual for informations concerning the bash shell startup.