If I set a variable in /etc/environment, it only seems to apply to administrators while in sudo su.

How can I get the variables to apply to everyone? Especially when they are in terminal?

  • Have you checked the mode (permissions) of the /etc/environment file? It should probably be set to 644 (rw–r––r––). – Scott Feb 26 '13 at 3:36
  • It set to: -rw-r--r-- – MichaelGuest Feb 26 '13 at 4:06

One way to do this may be to add the variables into /etc/.bashrc (assuming everyone is using a bash shell)

  • 1
    Um, are you sure that’s the file you mean? Not /etc/profile? – Scott Feb 26 '13 at 3:52
  • @scott - Yes, I'm sure thats the file I meant, but after googling a bit, /etc/profile is probably better. – davidgo Feb 26 '13 at 4:10

If you want to setup variables to apply to everyone, the best place is neither /etc/environment nor /etc/profile, because they are system files -- messing them up will give you headaches when you system is upgraded.

Best approach:

  • Create your own files under /etc/profile.d/,
  • Give it a .sh extension
  • make it executable (via chmod 755 file)

That's it. When you need to have similar setting on different boxes, or when it time to do a brand new installation, or any similar situation. Just backup/copy the file over, and you are done for the day.


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