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I want to have all users on the system to have an environment variable named SPI that points to /usr/local/share_ideas directory. How do I do it?

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I'd put it in the /etc directory in the file /etc/profile.d/myvariable.sh. In this file I'd set it like this:

SPI=/usr/local/share_ideas

Files in the /etc/profile.d directory are automatically sourced as part of a user logging into the system. The files that end in a ".sh" are used by the bash shell.

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Why not in /etc/profile? Is there a specific reason that using /etc/profile.d files is better? –  terdon Apr 29 '13 at 18:02
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In case the /etc/profile get's updated as a result of an update to an RPM. This is a remote issue but better to leave the system level files alone so your changes don't get lost. –  slm Apr 29 '13 at 18:06
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