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

On Sun, 15 Dec 1996, Lars Wirzenius wrote:

> [ Please don't Cc: me when replying to my message on a mailing list. ]
> Shaya Potter:
> > I have been thinking, maybe we can modify adduser to create a list of all 
> > users it creates and their home directories.
> /etc/passwd?

The one problem which that causes, is that sometimes you have fake user 
accounts, and some of them even have home directories.  Trust me, I had a 
lot problems when I was writing some back up scripts for the CMW's in our 
lab, I ended up just having a script that went through each the directory 
right under the home directories and skipping the ones that were just 
system accounts.

> > Then we can have a program that reads this list and put a dotfile in each 
> > present users home directory and in /etc/skel.  We can also put some confile
> > type checking, such as if file in /home/spotter is = to the file in /etc/skel
> > then it can be modified, but if not then it won't be.
> No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, noooooooooooooooooooo!
> (That was fun. I'll have to save a copy for another occasion. :-)

Glad you could have some fun from what I wrote, I told you I hadn't 
thought it totally through. :-)

> Any scheme that requires modifying user's files for setting up
> the system is broken. It's much better to have programs read
> a global configuration file that users can, at their option,
> override.

No, I meant not to modify the user's files, just a method to drop files 
into the home directories if neccessary.  Such as, when I tried to use 
The Gimp, it needed a .gimprc which it didn't automatically make.  I 
therefore had to make an empty .gimprc and it worked.  However, this 
might not always work.

> For example, there is no point in putting any configuration info
> in /etc/skel/.bash_profile, since it can be put into /etc/profile
> instead. There is no point in putting it in /etc/skel/.fvwm2rc,
> since it can be put into /etc/X11/fvwm2/system.fvwm2rc instead.
> And so on.

What about if there isn't a system wide file that can be used?

> (I've been the victim of a modify-users'-dotfiles-with-script admin.
> It's seriously unfun.)

That's why I don't want the files to modified, just to be able to be 
added if they are not there.

Shaya Potter

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