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Re: Where is the documentation for /etc/environment?

Alban Browaeys wrote:
Stephen Rueger <stephen.rueger <at> rechnerpost.org> writes:

Linux-PAM sysadmin guide, in /usr/share/doc/libpam-doc/ in the section
"Set/unset environment variables".

That s a good start.

But no there is no debian documentation/policy about environment/profile.
In fact there is a "war" between maintenair about who set what (only for the
PATH variable as far as i know).
Thus you cannot set the PATH var in /etc/environment and expect it to be used
 by all apps (shells, cron dameon, gdm , ... overwrite it all the time).

Debian policy 9.9:

9.9 Environment variables

A program must not depend on environment variables to get reasonable defaults. (That's because these environment variables would have to be set in a system-wide configuration file like /etc/profile, which is not supported by all shells.)

If a program usually depends on environment variables for its configuration, the program should be changed to fall back to a reasonable default configuration if these environment variables are not present. If this cannot be done easily (e.g., if the source code of a non-free program is not available), the program must be replaced by a small "wrapper" shell script which sets the environment variables if they are not already defined, and calls the original program.

Here is an example of a wrapper script for this purpose:

     export BAR
     exec /usr/lib/foo/foo "$@"

Furthermore, as /etc/profile is a configuration file of the base-files package, other packages must not put any environment variables or other commands into that file.

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