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I'm in the process of migrating to key's for authentication on my CentOS boxes. I have it all set up and working, but was a bit taken aback when I noticed service (and other things) didn't work the way I was accustomed to. Even after su'ing to root, still had to call the full path for it to work (which I assume to be expected/normal behavior).

I also assume this is because there are different $PATH's for root (what I was using and am used to) and the newly created, key-using user. Specifically, I noticed the sbin's of the world missing from the user path.

If I were to add those paths (/sbin/,/usr/sbin/,/usr/local/sbin) to a profile.d .sh script for this new key-loving user, would:

  1. I be opening up the system in ways I shouldn't be?
  2. I be doing something I needn't do save for reasons of laziness?
  3. I create other potential problems?


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Changing your path as a normal user to include the sbin directories is reasonable and standard practice. There is no substantial problem it will cause.

Most people do this on a per-user basis using the .profile or .*rc files, since you might not want less privileged users to see all the extra sysadmin focused binaries - but there is no great harm that will come from it. Without root all they will find out is that they don't have the right permissions to run the commands.

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s stands for system in sbin directories. it is appropriate to add these to users who are system administrator, but for normal users it may not be a good idea, as most if not all these command would require root privileges.

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