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I'm trying to change my default shell in RHEL5 from zsh to bash. I tried to the methods mentioned in this thead. By typing sudo /usr/bin/chsh -s /bin/bash, the system says sudo: /usr/bin/chsh: command not found. But the /usr/bin/chsh is there. Another way I found is to edit /etc/passwd file with my usrid, but it forbids me from editing it. Any suggestions?

  • Why are you running it as root? You should be able to change your own shell with just chsh. – FatalError Feb 6 '12 at 20:19
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Make sure /usr/bin/chsh has execute permissions by running sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/chsh.


You should be able to run chsh using your own account. Otherwise you'd be setting root's shell. Try the following:

chsh -s $( which bash )
  • yes, the problem was due to execute permission of chsh. Now, I got a new error when I execute "chsh -s bash", it says "setpwnam: Permission denied. Shell NOT changed. Try again later." – user268451 Feb 6 '12 at 20:39
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    @user268451 You can specify for which account to set the shell, e.g. like the following: sudo chsh -s $( which bash) danielbeck (danielbeck of course is the user name) – Daniel Beck Feb 6 '12 at 20:44
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Maybe your default shell is already bash.

To know your default shell on Red Hat:

finger youruser

output:

Login: XXXXXXXX                         Name: XXXXXX XXXXXX
Directory: /Home/XXXXXX                 Shell: /bin/zsh
Office: XXXXXX
Office Phone: XXXXXXXXXX                Home Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
...

If the Shell information is not /bin/bash then use ypchfn:

$ ypchsh
Changing NIS account information for XXXX on XXXXXXXXX.
Please enter password:

Changing login shell for XXXX on XXXXXXXXX.
To accept the default, simply press return. To use the
system's default shell, type the word "none".
Login shell [/bin/zsh]: /bin/bash

The login shell has been changed on XXXXXXXXX.

Check again your default shell:

finger youruser

output:

Login: XXXXXXXX                         Name: XXXXXX XXXXXX
Directory: /Home/XXXXXX                 Shell: /bin/bash
Office: XXXXXX
Office Phone: XXXXXXXXXX                Home Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
...

Let me know if it is OK for you... Cheers

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