BLFS svn book Shadow- question about a page note

Simon Geard delgarde at
Tue Jan 5 18:47:27 PST 2010

On Tue, 2010-01-05 at 17:21 -0500, Chris Staub wrote:
> Pasted from the Note in question:
> "You must create a valid /root/.bashrc file to provide a modified path 
> for the super-user."
> Therefore, to your question of "what" to add to root's .bashrc - it's "a 
> modified path." You know, since root generally has additional dirs in 
> its PATH (such as /sbin and /usr/sbin).

Reading that, I think he's actually got a fair point. The intended
meaning is that if you were previously using ENV_SUPATH to give root a
different PATH from ordinary users, you would now need to do so by
modifying root's login scripts.

But if you read that note, it starts by assuming the reader actually
knows what ENV_SUPATH is, and why it being no longer supported means
they have to create a suitable .bashrc file. If they don't know what
ENV_SUPATH is, they're merely left with a cryptic instruction to create
a .bashrc file with unspecified content.

And consider, ENV_SUPATH isn't mentioned in the LFS shadow page, and
only mentioned in this page in the context of saying it can't be used. A
typical LFS builder is *not* going to know what that message means.

A better wording would perhaps be something like:

Note: The ENV_SUPATH option used to modify root's default path does not
work with PAM. If you are using this option, you'll need to set the path
in root's login scripts instead.

To me, that explains what it does, and makes it clear that if you don't
use it, you don't need to do anything.

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