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I am using the 12.04LST, and I am trying to install the oracle jdk7 manually.

Then I update the /etc/environment to set the PATH variable.

This is the original file content:


And I update it as this:


Then I make it work using:

source /etc/environment

Then I type java and javac, and it worked.

However after I reboot my computer, I was kept at the login screen.

Then I use ctrl+alt+f2 to go the terminal.

And update the /etc/envrionment like this:

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/nano /etc/emvrionment to the following:


Then I can login again.

Now I have two questions:

  1. Why I can not login if I add the line PATH="$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin" in /etc/envirionment?

  2. Is variables set in /etc/environment is available for all the user?

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In fact, it does not. It does not told why user can not login. – hguser Apr 25 '13 at 0:23
Same problem here. Try to update the alternatives rather to set environment variable. sudo update-java-alternatives -s /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7....full path needed here see if works (with java and javac) . Alternatively you can try to set the path directly to PATH (without create a new variable) PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/‌​usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7" – NikTh Apr 25 '13 at 0:29
I do not prefer this manner. Since I have to add all the commands like java javac and something else. – hguser Apr 25 '13 at 0:34

/etc/environment is not executed as a script but read as a configuration file, so no shell expansion is available, thus variables can't be read.

If you wan't to use variables, resort to use session-wide variables in ~/.pam_environment.


share|improve this answer

Ok. I checked it - it must depends of PAM somehow, if write to /etc/environment this: PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7/bin" and then source it, it will work fine and you'll be able to login

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