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Re: .bash_profile, the empty /etc/skel, and the first user



[ Please don't Cc: me when replying to my message on a mailing list. ]

Santiago Vila Doncel:
> * Alias for colorized ls.

Add it to the manual page or other documentation (already
exists: /usr/doc/fileutils/color-ls.gz). That way users can
find it even if they happen to delete their .bashrc.

> * The line "export LC_CTYPE=ISO-8859-1". 
> * A line like "export LANG=en"

Most systems are used by users only in one locale. Put these
in /etc/profile. Systems with users from many locales will have
to have each user specify his locale separately anyway.

> * A line like  export PS1; PS1='\h:\w\$ '

Put it in /etc/profile. The documentation for bash already
describes setting the prompt well enough.

> Do you want more examples?

Yes, please. These were examples of things that mustn't be put in
/etc/skel.

> [ Would you put LANG=en in /etc/profile? It would be useless there! ]

On the contrary, it is the best place for default stuff. I wouldn't
put it in the version of /etc/profile that Debian ships, but I don't
see any reason why the sysadmin wouldn't add it.

Setting up a nice default environment for ignorant[1] end
users is a good goal, but /etc/skel is exactly the wrong way
to accomplish it. If you ever need to update the NDEFIEU (read:
every time you install a major new package), and you have used
/etc/skel to implement it, you will now have to change a lot
of files in users' directories, and that _will_ break.

Instead, if you have implemented it using /etc/profile, you only
need to change it in one place.

-- 
Please read <http://www.iki.fi/liw/mail-to-lasu.html> before mailing me.
Please don't Cc: me when replying to my message on a mailing list.

[1] Ignorant is not the same as stupid. There's no reason why
someone who only needs Pine and Lynx to have to learn editing
.bashrc.


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