It isn't necessarily run; at the top of the standard .bashrc is this comment:
# ~/.bashrc: executed by bash(1) for non-login shells.
# see /usr/share/doc/bash/examples/startup-files (in the package bash-doc)
# for examples
I believe there is an option to run bash terminal as a login shell or not. With Ubuntu, gnome-terminal does not normally run as a login shell, so .bashrc should be run directly.
For login shells (like the virtual terminals), normally the file
~/.profile is run, unless you have either
~/.bash_login, but they are not there by default. By default, Ubuntu uses only .profile.
~/.profile has this in it:
if [ -n "$BASH_VERSION" ]; then
# include .bashrc if it exists
if [ -f "$HOME/.bashrc" ]; then
This runs .bashrc if it is available - assuming $BASH_VERSION is present in your environment. You can check for this by entering the command
echo $BASH_VERSION, and it should display some information on version number - it should not be blank.