source: chapter09/profile.xml@ a3d0817

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Last change on this file since a3d0817 was a3d0817, checked in by Bruce Dubbs <bdubbs@…>, 18 months ago

Text updated for cross2 chapter 9

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1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
2<!DOCTYPE sect1 PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.5//EN"
3 "http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/xml/4.5/docbookx.dtd" [
4 <!ENTITY % general-entities SYSTEM "../general.ent">
5 %general-entities;
6]>
7
8<sect1 id="ch-config-profile" revision="sysv">
9 <?dbhtml filename="profile.html"?>
10
11 <title>The Bash Shell Startup Files</title>
12
13 <indexterm zone="ch-config-profile">
14 <primary sortas="e-/etc/profile">/etc/profile</primary>
15 </indexterm>
16
17 <para>The shell program <command>/bin/bash</command> (hereafter referred to
18 as <quote>the shell</quote>) uses a collection of startup files to help
19 create an environment to run in. Each file has a specific use and may affect
20 login and interactive environments differently. The files in the <filename
21 class="directory">/etc</filename> directory provide global settings. If an
22 equivalent file exists in the home directory, it may override the global
23 settings.</para>
24
25 <para>An interactive login shell is started after a successful login, using
26 <command>/bin/login</command>, by reading the <filename>/etc/passwd</filename>
27 file. An interactive non-login shell is started at the command-line (e.g.,
28 <prompt>[prompt]$</prompt><command>/bin/bash</command>). A non-interactive
29 shell is usually present when a shell script is running. It is non-interactive
30 because it is processing a script and not waiting for user input between
31 commands.</para>
32
33 <para>For more information, see <command>info bash</command> under the
34 <emphasis>Bash Startup Files and Interactive Shells</emphasis> section.</para>
35
36 <para>The files <filename>/etc/profile</filename> and
37 <filename>~/.bash_profile</filename> are read when the shell is
38 invoked as an interactive login shell.</para>
39
40 <para>The base <filename>/etc/profile</filename> below sets some
41 environment variables necessary for native language support. Setting
42 them properly results in:</para>
43
44 <itemizedlist>
45 <listitem>
46 <para>The output of programs translated into the native language</para>
47 </listitem>
48 <listitem>
49 <para>Correct classification of characters into letters, digits and other
50 classes. This is necessary for <command>bash</command> to properly accept
51 non-ASCII characters in command lines in non-English locales</para>
52 </listitem>
53 <listitem>
54 <para>The correct alphabetical sorting order for the country</para>
55 </listitem>
56 <listitem>
57 <para>Appropriate default paper size</para>
58 </listitem>
59 <listitem>
60 <para>Correct formatting of monetary, time, and date values</para>
61 </listitem>
62 </itemizedlist>
63
64 <para>Replace <replaceable>&lt;ll&gt;</replaceable> below with the two-letter code
65 for the desired language (e.g., <quote>en</quote>) and
66 <replaceable>&lt;CC&gt;</replaceable> with the two-letter code for the appropriate
67 country (e.g., <quote>GB</quote>). <replaceable>&lt;charmap&gt;</replaceable> should
68 be replaced with the canonical charmap for your chosen locale. Optional
69 modifiers such as <quote>@euro</quote> may also be present.</para>
70
71 <para>The list of all locales supported by Glibc can be obtained by running
72 the following command:</para>
73
74<screen role="nodump"><userinput>locale -a</userinput></screen>
75
76 <para>Charmaps can have a number of aliases, e.g., <quote>ISO-8859-1</quote>
77 is also referred to as <quote>iso8859-1</quote> and <quote>iso88591</quote>.
78 Some applications cannot handle the various synonyms correctly (e.g., require
79 that <quote>UTF-8</quote> is written as <quote>UTF-8</quote>, not
80 <quote>utf8</quote>), so it is safest in most
81 cases to choose the canonical name for a particular locale. To determine
82 the canonical name, run the following command, where <replaceable>&lt;locale
83 name&gt;</replaceable> is the output given by <command>locale -a</command> for
84 your preferred locale (<quote>en_GB.iso88591</quote> in our example).</para>
85
86<screen role="nodump"><userinput>LC_ALL=<replaceable>&lt;locale name&gt;</replaceable> locale charmap</userinput></screen>
87
88 <para>For the <quote>en_GB.iso88591</quote> locale, the above command
89 will print:</para>
90
91<screen><computeroutput>ISO-8859-1</computeroutput></screen>
92
93 <para>This results in a final locale setting of <quote>en_GB.ISO-8859-1</quote>.
94 It is important that the locale found using the heuristic above is tested prior
95 to it being added to the Bash startup files:</para>
96
97<screen role="nodump"><userinput>LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale language
98LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale charmap
99LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale int_curr_symbol
100LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale int_prefix</userinput></screen>
101
102 <para>The above commands should print the language name, the character
103 encoding used by the locale, the local currency, and the prefix to dial
104 before the telephone number in order to get into the country. If any of the
105 commands above fail with a message similar to the one shown below, this means
106 that your locale was either not installed in <xref linkend="ch-system-glibc"/>
107 or is not supported by the default installation of Glibc.</para>
108
109<screen><computeroutput>locale: Cannot set LC_* to default locale: No such file or directory</computeroutput></screen>
110
111 <para>If this happens, you should either install the desired locale using the
112 <command>localedef</command> command, or consider choosing a different locale.
113 Further instructions assume that there are no such error messages from
114 Glibc.</para>
115
116 <!-- FIXME: the xlib example will became obsolete real soon -->
117 <!--<para>Some packages beyond LFS may also lack support for your chosen locale. One
118 example is the X library (part of the X Window System), which outputs the
119 following error message if the locale does not exactly match one of the character
120 map names in its internal files:</para>
121
122<screen><computeroutput>Warning: locale not supported by Xlib, locale set to C</computeroutput></screen>
123
124 <para>In several cases Xlib expects that the character map will be listed in
125 uppercase notation with canonical dashes. For instance, "ISO-8859-1" rather
126 than "iso88591". It is also possible to find an appropriate specification by
127 removing the charmap part of the locale specification. This can be checked
128 by running the <command>locale charmap</command> command in both locales.
129 For example, one would have to change "de_DE.ISO-8859-15@euro" to
130 "de_DE@euro" in order to get this locale recognized by Xlib.</para>
131-->
132 <para>Other packages can also function incorrectly (but may not necessarily
133 display any error messages) if the locale name does not meet their expectations.
134 In those cases, investigating how other Linux distributions support your locale
135 might provide some useful information.</para>
136
137 <para>Once the proper locale settings have been determined, create the
138 <filename>/etc/profile</filename> file:</para>
139
140<screen><userinput>cat &gt; /etc/profile &lt;&lt; "EOF"
141<literal># Begin /etc/profile
142
143export LANG=<replaceable>&lt;ll&gt;_&lt;CC&gt;.&lt;charmap&gt;&lt;@modifiers&gt;</replaceable>
144
145# End /etc/profile</literal>
146EOF</userinput></screen>
147
148 <para>The <quote>C</quote> (default) and <quote>en_US.utf8</quote> (the recommended
149 one for United States English users) locales are different. <quote>C</quote>
150 uses the US-ASCII 7-bit character set, and treats bytes with the high bit set
151 as invalid characters. That's why, e.g., the <command>ls</command> command
152 substitutes them with question marks in that locale. Also, an attempt to send
153 mail with such characters from Mutt or Pine results in non-RFC-conforming
154 messages being sent (the charset in the outgoing mail is indicated as <quote>unknown
155 8-bit</quote>). So you can use the <quote>C</quote> locale only if you are sure that
156 you will never need 8-bit characters.</para>
157
158 <para>UTF-8 based locales are not supported well by some programs.
159 Work is in progress to document and, if possible, fix such problems, see
160 <ulink url="&blfs-book;introduction/locale-issues.html"/>.</para>
161
162</sect1>
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