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I have Ubuntu 10.04. I want to define some environment variables that will be available anywhere, anytime, including from Eclipse. Where is the best place to put them? ~/.bashrc? ~/.profile? /etc/environment?

Why are there so many places to define settings?

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What desktop environment are you using? What window manager? –  Keith Aug 28 '11 at 11:39
    
I use gnome desktop. How can I know what window manager I use? –  Erel Segal Halevi Sep 4 '11 at 6:32
    
@Erel: If you're using a full DE such as GNOME or KDE, the window manager is not important. (GNOME uses either Metacity, Compiz, or Mutter.) It only makes a difference when the WM is being used standalone. –  grawity Dec 15 '11 at 14:04

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~/.profile might be the best place – it is read for graphical logins (GDM), console logins, and even SSH. (The latter two only if neither ~/.bash_profile nor ~/.bash_login exists, though... but GDM always reads it.)

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