Environment Variables (setting path)

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Environment Variables (setting path)

Postby Octitude on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:17 am

Hi to all,

I am trying to set path for an application I have installed. What i'm trying to wrap my head around is if I want an environment variable to work in all terminals is it recommended I edit bash.bashrc or /etc/environment. Alternatively could I source bash.bashrc from ~/.bash_profile for this to work? What are the pros and cons?

So if I edit .bashrc then source that from ~/.bash_profile would that be a safe bet?

Im confused as there is no .bashrc or profile_bash by default and the default paths are set in etc/environment so is there any reason i can't just set the path in /etc/environment?

I think i'm over complicating the matter, i am however determined to wrap my head around this.
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Re: Environment Variables (setting path)

Postby viking777 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:57 am

I have always understood it to be /etc/environment, but you are right, there is ample scope for confusion :?
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Re: Environment Variables (setting path)

Postby garda on Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:46 pm

Environment variables and aliases defined or set in /etc/environment are applied system-wide; all variables inside it are applied to all users, including root.

Things defined or set in ~/.bashrc are applied to the user's session only upon login. This file is often used to define shell variables specific to a user's shell environment needs.

~/.bash_profile is a script that gets executed upon login. It may or may not contain a line that sources ~/.bashrc. /etc/profile is similar in purpose, except that it's system-wide -- it gets executed when anybody logs in.

Conclusion: Yes, sourcing ~/.bashrc from ~/.bash_profile is a safe bet.
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