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I have a Debian Lenny server, and I would like the www-data user to have /usr/local/zend/bin in its PATH, so it can execute a script in cron as www-data.

How do I add /usr/local/zend/bin to PATH, so www-data can execuate files in /usr/local/zend/bin ?

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2 Answers 2

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The first place where PATH is set is /etc/login.defs. There's a setting for root and a setting for everyone else.

Another place where you can define environment variables is /etc/environment. These settings will apply to everyone (you can't write arbitrary shell code there).

A third place where you can define environment variables is /etc/profile. There you can write arbitrary shell code. If you want a user-specific setting, there is the corresponding per-user file ~www-data/.profile. But this will only apply to console interactive logins; in particular it won't apply to cron jobs unless they explicitly source /etc/profile.

If you only need that PATH setting in a user crontab, you can write it at the beginning of the crontab. Note that you need the full list (PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/local/zend/bin), you can't use a variable substitution (PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/zend/bin won't work there).

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To set a path for all users except root, edit /etc/profile or /etc/enviroment. For root or an individual user edit their .bashrc or .bash_profile in their home directories, respectively. Add the PATH=$PATH:/new/location/.

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