O'Reilly logo

Learning the bash Shell, Second Edition by Bill Rosenblatt, Cameron Newham

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Environment Customization

Like the Bourne shell, bash uses the file /etc/profile for system-wide customization. When a user logs in, the shell reads and runs /etc/profile before running the user’s .bash_profile.

We won’t cover all the possible commands you might want to put in /etc/profile. But bash has a few unique features that are particularly relevant to system-wide customization; we’ll discuss them here.

We’ll start with two built-in commands that you can use in /etc/profile to tailor your users’ environments and constrain their use of system resources. Users can also use these commands in their .bash_profile, or at any other time, to override the default settings.

umask

umask, like the same command in most other shells, lets you specify the default permissions that files have when users create them. It takes the same types of arguments that the chmod command does, i.e., absolute (octal numbers) or symbolic permission values.

The umask contains the permissions that are turned off by default whenever a process creates a file, regardless of what permission the process specifies. [135]

We’ll use octal notation to show how this works. As you probably know, the digits in a permission number stand (left to right) for the permissions of the owner, owner’s group, and all other users, respectively. Each digit, in turn, consists of three bits, which specify read, write, and execute permissions from left to right. (If a file is a directory, the “execute” permission becomes “search” permission, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required