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/etc/profile is read by Bourne-type shells (or at least sh and bash) for system wide configuration of login shells. The contents can be seen with '$PAGER /etc/profile'. /etc/profile is generally kept short and contains only a few variable assignments and commands but, since it's interpreted by the shell, it can contain anything a shell script can. As far as getting the path, that should be in environment and accessible as 'echo $PATH' but, if you want it directly from the file, "grep 'PATH=' /etc/profile" should work.
Be careful, though - the box I'm on now sets a path for root and a path for the rest in a conditional, so that will return two strings.
-- Oh yeah if you post stuff with long lines in tags, that will set up a scroll box and not widen the page out so much. Plus, when it needs to be clearer to read, it is clearer. (I don't always do it for short one liners, obviously, but figured I'd mention it.)
Last edited by slakmagik; 02-27-2008 at 01:11 AM.
Reason: about code tags and scrolling
Or you could just edit it in vi and grab it, or
Can you be a bit clearer about whether you just want to look at it or use it, and in what context.
From your OP, it sounds like just reading through /etc/profile will tell what you want to know.