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It seems you will have to restart your X session to see the effect. I could not find much documentation on /etc/environment, this page explains almost nothing. Here's what I tested: I added SOMETHING=hello in /etc/environment I switch to a virtual terminal with Control Alt F1, run echo $SOMETHING and I correctly see hello so it worked I start a new ...
Your path should be PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_51/bin" not PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_51/bin". You are missing : beetween /usr/local/games and /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_51/bin
Creating a symlink is only half the work done as the old folders would continue to exist along with the new symlink created. I encountered this problem when I was trying to change the path of my desktop to ubuntu one folder first using the instruction mentioned in this how-to. And later from the above. In both the instances desktop changed to Ubuntu One. ...
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