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[farmshare-discuss] "biff" error?

Adam Seishas aseishas at
Thu Jan 8 16:25:25 PST 2015

It’s actually more likely that some of the students’ accounts were created when tcsh(!) was still the default shell for new users. Affected students can continue to run bash manually, or they can submit a HelpSU request (or write to research-computing-support at <mailto:research-computing-support at>) asking that their default shells be changed: <>

Recommended minimum configurations for bash, zsh, and tcsh can be found on the FarmShare wiki: <>

(biff is a legacy mail utility and has been removed from the latest configurations.)

Adam Seishas
IT Service Desk
Stanford University

Question? Try Stanford Answers <>
Submit a new help request with HelpSU <>

> On Jan 8, 2015, at 4:14 PM, Dan Nguyen <dun at> wrote:
> I’ve just started teaching a class that’s using the <>…I assumed that when everyone logged in, by default, would see the standard bash prompt:
>      dun at corn26:~$ 
> However, half the class is seeing just the name of the machine at the prompt (i.e. “corn26”)…moreover, when logging in, they see this error:
>     biff: Command not found.
> Later on, certain commands weren’t working for these students…not until they entered the bash shell by explicitly running “bash” from the command-line.
> I’m relatively new to Stanford so I don’t have many changes to the default environment…a lot of the students who have had the “biff” error have been at Stanford for a few years, so I’m assuming they’ve all taken some class where a change to their bash profiles have been made…but I can’t tell what that might be.
> -Dan
> _______________________________________________
> farmshare-discuss mailing list
> farmshare-discuss at

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