root PATH missing /sbin and /usr/sbin

Dan Williams dcbw at
Fri Apr 27 07:58:41 EDT 2007

On Fri, 2007-04-27 at 16:58 +1000, James Cameron wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 10:28:30PM -0700, Javier Cardona wrote:
> > David,
> > 
> > > I am in the Developer console.....
> > >
> > > iwconfig: command not found
> > > ifconfig: command not found
> > 
> > But for now, can you try to login as root first and provide the full
> > path to iwconfig?
> > $ su -
> > # /sbin/iwconfig
> Is there any good reason why we don't have /usr/sbin and /sbin in PATH?
> On Debian and Ubuntu systems I don't get this problem.  When I su to
> root PATH is sane.  On OLPC and Fedora systems this doesn't work.

ISTR that it was because non-admin users (ie, not root or a sysadmin)
shouldn't need binaries in /sbin or /usr/sbin.  And that we shouldn't
put binaries that need to be run by non-privileged users in /sbin
or /usr/sbin.  Looking at stuff there, most of it requires root privs to
be useful anyway.

This is an upstream Fedora thing and not OLPC-specific; you should
probably ask there as well and see what other Fedora people say.  I
don't really feel strongly one way or the other.


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