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A.8.5 Configuration Files
Templates for configurations are typically stored in the Templates subdirectory of the SystemFiles directory. Either at installation, or when Mathematica is first run, configuration files are then automatically set up in specific directories.
Typical locations for configuration files.
Mathematica will first use files that are in the general Configuration directory, then will use files that are in specific per-user directories. On multi-user systems, putting files in the general Configuration directory allows for site-wide configuration. Mathematica password files are typically in the Configuration directory.
Typical configuration files.
Kernel configuration files can contain any Mathematica commands. These commands can test global variables such as $SystemID and $MachineName to determine what operations to perform. Front end configuration files can contain only certain special commands, as described in Section A.2.12.