[K12OSN] the /etc/skel directory..

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Thu Jan 13 18:51:38 UTC 2005

> What is this and what purpose does it serve?
> Are there tips'tricks that can be done here?

When the home directory for a new user is created, it is initialized
with files from the /etc/skel  directory. The system administrator can
create files in /etc/skel  that will provide a nice default environment
for users. For example, he might create a /etc/skel/.profile  that sets
the EDITOR environment variable to some editor that is friendly towards
new users. 

However, it is usually best to try to keep /etc/skel  as small as
possible, since it will be next to impossible to update existing users'
files. For example, if the name of the friendly editor changes, all
existing users would have to edit their .profile . The system
administrator could try to do it automatically, with a script, but that
is almost certain going to break someone's file. 

Whenever possible, it is better to put global configuration into global
files, such as /etc/profile . This way it is possible to update it
without breaking users' own setups.

As far as I know there are a lot of possible tricks with this directory.

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