Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am using Red Hat. I need to export variables for all users (permanently). How would I go about doing that? I know there is a file for a single user where I can set permanent variables.

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 25 '12 at 3:11

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can put the variable assignments in one of the shell startup scripts:


for bash and some other shells, depending on how your particular distro is configured. There are equivalents for most shells. There is also a file


which is not a script but contains enviroment variable assignments, and is loaded at login via pam_env.so. Obviously this works only on systems that use PAM for authentication (almost all Linux distros, but probably not Solaris).

share|improve this answer
Solaris uses PAM; whether it's version of PAM uses /etc/environment is a separate issue. –  Jonathan Leffler Sep 25 '12 at 3:15

Aside from /etc/profile, etc., adding a script into /etc/profile.d to achieve your feature is ideal because it works well with packagers which expect to be able to install and uninstall.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.