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Common Linux Dot Files

Typically, dotfiles are simply configuration files where software programs store their configuration settings in plain, text-based files or directories.

Syntax: 
Dot File Name 
    Format Purpose

.bash_history 
    File History of commands typed at a Bash command prompt.

.bash_logout 
    File Script that's run when logging out of a text-mode Bash shell.

.bash_profile 
    File Script that's run when starting up a text-mode Bash shell.

.bashrc
    File Script that's run when starting up a text-mode Bash shell.

.DCOPServer_*
    Filename varies with the computer's name; status file for the Desktop Communication Protocol (DCOP), which is used by KDE to help manage interprogram communications.

.dmrc 
    File KDE Display Manager (KDM) configuration file; specifies what desktop 
    environment to run when logging in via KDM.

.emacs.d
    Directory Settings for Emacs, a popular text editor.  

.esd_auth
    Housekeeping file for the Enlightened Sound Daemon (ESD), which is part of Linux's sound subsystem.

.fonts 
    Directory User-installed font files.

.fonts.cache-1 
    File Listing of user-installed fonts in .fonts.

.fonts.conf
    File Xft font configuration file.

.gconf
    Directory Configuration files used by GConf, a centralized configuration tool associated with GNOME.

.gconfd
    Directory Status files used by GConf.  

.gimp-1.2 or.gimp-2.0
    Directory Configuration file, and perhaps temporary storage space, for the GIMP. 
Precise filename depends on the version of  GIMP being used.

.gnome, .gnome2, and .gnome2_private
    Directory Configurations for GNOME applications.

.gtkrc
    File Configuration information for the GIMP Toolkit (GTK+), which is a GUI development tool used by the GIMP, GNOME, and many other programs.

.kde
    Directory Configuration files for KDE applications.

.macromedia
    Directory Configuration files for Macromedia products, such as Flash Player.

.mail or .Mail
    Directory Mail messages; best managed with your mail program.

.metacity
    Directory Configuration files for the Metacity window manager, which is most commonly used by GNOME.

.mozilla
    Directory Configuration files and cache for the Mozilla and Mozilla Firefox Web browsers.

.nautilus
    Directory Configuration files for the Nautilus file browser used by GNOME.

.rhn-applet
    Directory Housekeeping files for Red Hat.s Update Agent program.

.rhn-applet.conf
    File Configuration file for Red Hat.s Update Agent.

.signature
    File Traditional name for a signature file, which is a few (typically 1.4) lines of text appended to mail messages and newsgroup posts.

.ssh
    Directory Files associated with the Secure Shell (SSH) client program.

.themes
    Directory Themes for desktop environments.

.wine
    Directory Configuration and other files related to the WINE Is Not an Emulator (WINE) tool for running Windows programs in Linux.

.Xauthority
    File Automatically generated file that helps manage connections to the X server (Linux.s GUI environment).

.Xclients and .Xclients-default
    File Script that.s sometimes run when logging into a GUI session. (Not all GUI login methods use this script.)

.Xdefaults
    File Settings file that.s used by certain X programs; can be used to set program defaults.

.xfce4
    Directory Configuration files for the XFce desktop environment.

.xinitrc
    File Script run when starting X from a text-mode login.

.xmms
    Directory Configuration file associated with the X Multimedia System (XMMS). 
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Granted, this is not a comprehensive list of all available dotfiles, but more so a general overview of associated file types.

Enjoy!

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