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Re: global environment variables?

on Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 06:46:07PM -0500, Alan Shutko (ats@acm.org) wrote:
> nemo@cheeky.house.cx writes:
> > Correct me if I'm wrong - but this is only for Bourne shells and compatible. 
> > It wont set the environment for my personal zsh shell? For perl modules?
> It's read by pam.  I believe it'll set those variables for any login,
> but only logins.
> If you want something set for all processes, you'd probably have to
> arrange for init to do it, and I don't know if that's possible.

Alan's hit the thought I've had on this.  There's someplace in the init
process where environment variables can be set, at least for stuff
started via init.d.  Since init is *the* root process, seems you ought
to be able to set an environment for init and have it propogate.

There's an ability to set environment variables for init through LILO (I
assume GRUB has a similar facility), from the LILO manual:

    Options of the type  <variable>=<value>  which are neither standard
    options nor device-specific options, cause the respective variables
    to be set in the environment passed to init. The case of the
    variable name is preserved, i.e. it isn't automatically converted to
    upper case.

    Note that environment variables passed to init are typically
    available in system initialization scripts (e.g. /etc/rc.local), but
    they're not visible from ordinary login sessions, because the login
    program removes them from the user's environment.

It's not clear to me that these environment variables are exported to
child processes, however.

I don't see anything in the init manpage which suggests capabilities
such as are being requested here.


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