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I am logging into a solaris server, switching to bash, then switching to another user "sruser" and switching to bash.

/home/batch/sruser/ is the home directory of the user "sruser".

The issue is ps is not giving any output when run in the home directory -

# pwd
# ps
# cd dir1
# ps 
 17867 pts/1789 0:00 bash
 17165 pts/1789 0:00 ksh
 20435 pts/1789 0:00 ps

Don't know what could be the issue. Don't even know where to start looking for whatever could be the issue.

share|improve this question
Maybe the sruser has . (cwd) in $PATH and a ps executable in his home directory? – guido Feb 21 '11 at 12:22
try type ps or which ps to see what is being executed – phunehehe Feb 21 '11 at 13:05
Hope you didn't run that as root? But how would . end up in root's PATH? Hope you didn't add it there yourself. – alex Feb 21 '11 at 14:31
If type ps shows that /usr/bin/ps is being executed, run truss ps to see what's going on. (But . in $PATH is the most obvious explanation.) – Gilles Feb 21 '11 at 21:11
@guido Thanks for the answer. @phunehehe @Gilles Thanks to you guys, TIL 3 new commands (I'm a UNIX newb) – Srikanth Feb 22 '11 at 5:20
up vote 3 down vote accepted

$PATH has .(cwd) and there is a file ps with executable permissions in the home directory.

# ls -lrt *ps*
-rwxrw-r--   1 sruser  batch          0 Jun 2 2010 ps
# type ps
ps is hashed (./ps)
# which ps

Hence the command was not giving any output.

share|improve this answer
"ps" has no executable permission bits set in your ls output. It should then be ignored by the shell while exploring your PATH. – jlliagre Feb 23 '11 at 4:46
@jlliagre thanks for correcting me. i copied the wrong snippet. it does have a executable permission. – Srikanth Feb 23 '11 at 16:54
In any case, having . in your PATH as root is a poor practice but having it before the standard /bin, /usr/bin, sbin directories is quite suicidal. – jlliagre Feb 23 '11 at 20:26
Note that the more traditional way to include the current directory in $PATH is with the empty string. PATH=/bin: has the current directory last and PATH=:/bin:/usr/bin has it first. Incidentally, that latter one is the default $PATH (!) on GNU/Linux systems (for execvp, env...) when PATH is unset. – Stéphane Chazelas Jun 4 '14 at 22:22

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