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Re: How to add dir to path

Hi David,

On 8/7/07, David Brodbeck <brodbd@u.washington.edu> wrote:
What's the reason I shouldn't touch /etc/profile but use
~/.bash_profile instead?
They do the same thing, but for different scopes.  /etc/profile affects every account on the system.  ~/.bash_profile only affects your own.

On a single-user machine the distinction is meaningless, but on a multi-user system it's important.  Software installed publicly for everyone goes in the PATH set in /etc/profile, software installed in an individual person's home directory goes in the PATH set in ~/.bash_profile.  It's good to get in the habit of thinking about these distinctions, because some day you might be administering a machine that's used by other people.

Generally unless you have a specific reason to put something there, you want to leave /etc/profile alone.

Thanks for this clear explanation.  I'll follow your advice.


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