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Bug 678 - /etc/bashrc sets PS1 at inappropriate times
/etc/bashrc sets PS1 at inappropriate times
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: bash (Show other bugs)
All Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: David Lawrence
Depends On:
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Reported: 1999-01-03 17:06 EST by Ted Powell
Modified: 2008-05-01 11:37 EDT (History)
0 users

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 1999-01-04 19:25:13 EST
Type: ---
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Description Ted Powell 1999-01-03 17:06:12 EST
The version of /etc/bashrc contained in bash-1.14.7-13 is as

  # /etc/bashrc

  # System wide functions and aliases
  # Environment stuff goes in /etc/profile

  # For some unknown reason bash refuses to inherit
  # PS1 in some circumstances that I can't figure out.
  # Putting PS1 here ensures that it gets loaded every time.
  PS1="[\u@\h \W]\\$ "

  alias which="type -path"


Searching the BASH(1) man page for the string "PS1" gets a
hit in the INVOCATION section, which reads in part:

"PS1 is set ... if bash is interactive, allowing a shell
script or a startup file to test this state."

Setting PS1 unconditionally, as is done by the current
/etc/bashrc, breaks this facility.

If it is desired to set PS1, when appropriate, to a specific
string, this can be done with:

  # PS1 is only supposed to be set for an interactive shell.
  # Since this is the only easy test for an
interactive        # shell, it should not be tampered with.
  if [ x${PS1+set} = xset ]; then
      # interactive
      PS1="[\u@\h \W]\\$ "

Three reasons why a user should be able to use a simple test
(namely, seeing whether PS1 is set) for whether the current
shell is interactive:

3. ``stty </dev/tty erase ^H'' gets an annoying complaint
if    the shell is not interactive.

2. Operations such as updating the window title bar
generate    unacceptable overhead if done in a long-running

Comment 1 David Lawrence 1999-01-04 19:25:59 EST
Thank you for the suggestion. It has been noted and will be considered
for future releases of Red Hat.

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