Search Path in bash2

Martin McCormick martin at
Sun Feb 29 04:44:49 PST 2004

	I am quoting one response I received, but my thanks to
everyone who answered.  I went to the system in question and figured I
would methodically try every suggestion I received until I either
exhausted all possibilities or something worked.

	I was hoping for a global solution that would not require
modifying each user's .bash_profile, and it turns out that
/etc/profile appears to do the trick.  After one false start of
setting $path instead of $PATH, I added the following line which I
have broken for readability:


	This appears to correctly modify the behavior in the desired

	Again, many thanks to all who answered.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK 
OSU Information Technology Division Network Operations Group
Peter Risdon writes:
>When  bash is invoked as an interactive login shell, or as a non-inter-
>       active shell with the --login option, it first reads and 
>executes  com-
>       mands  from  the file /etc/profile, if that file exists.  After 
>       that file, it looks for ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_login, and 
>       in  that order, and reads and executes commands from the first 
>one that
>       exists and is readable.  The --noprofile option may be  used  
>when  the
>       shell is started to inhibit this behavior.
>But so far as I have seen, at least on FreeBSD, /etc/profile does not 
>generally contain path info. This is normally set in ~/.profile and the 
>default contains something like this:
># remove /usr/games and /usr/X11R6/bin if you want
>bin:$HOME/bin; export PATH
>So my guess is that to conform closely to this way of doing things, add 
>the path to each user's ~/.profile and also to 
>/usr/share/skel/dot.profile so it is there immediately for new users.
>Alternatively, unless someone contradicts this, the man page seems to 
>suggest you could add a path to /etc/profile and it would then be 
>system-wide. I have never done this myself, though, so can't vouch for 
>it whereas I have edited ~/.profile frequently.

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