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bash man page doesn't fully document PATH

From: pgf
Subject: bash man page doesn't fully document PATH
Date: 31 Aug 2005 14:38:57 -0000

Configuration Information [Automatically generated, do not change]:
Machine: i386
OS: linux-gnu
Compiler: gcc
Compilation CFLAGS:  -DPROGRAM='bash' -DCONF_HOSTTYPE='i386' 
-DCONF_OSTYPE='linux-gnu' -DCONF_MACHTYPE='i386-redhat-linux-gnu' 
-D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64  -I.  -I. -I./include -I./lib -I/usr/include -O2 
-march=i386 -mcpu=i686
uname output: Linux grass 2.4.29 #1 Wed Mar 23 09:00:50 EST 2005 i686 unknown
Machine Type: i386-redhat-linux-gnu

Bash Version: 2.05
Patch Level: 8
Release Status: release

        Empty elements in PATH (leading, trailing, or double ":"
        characters have always meant "current directory".  The
        bash manpage makes no mention of this behavior, and the
        examples given all use ":.:" to represent current
        directory, leading to the impression that this is the
        only way current directory can enter the command search. 
        The traditional behavior should be well-documented, both
        to reduce confusion and to enhance security.


        The following patch is a possibility:

--- bash.1.orig Wed Aug 31 10:27:35 2005
+++ bash.1      Wed Aug 31 10:37:22 2005
@@ -1679,6 +1679,16 @@
 A common value is
 .if t \f(CW/usr/gnu/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/ucb:/bin:/usr/bin:.\fP.
 .if n ``/usr/gnu/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/ucb:/bin:/usr/bin:.''.
+Note that empty entries in PATH (i.e. a double colon pair, or 
+leading or trailing colon characters) are treated as representing
+the current directory.  Thus
+.if t \f(CW:/usr/local/bin::/bin:/usr/bin:\fP
+.if n ``:/usr/local/bin::/bin:/usr/bin:''
+is equivalent to
+.if t \f(CW.:/usr/local/bin:.:/bin:/usr/bin:.\fP.
+.if n ``.:/usr/local/bin:.:/bin:/usr/bin:.''.
+(This historic behavior can be surprising, and can have security
 If this variable is in the environment when \fBbash\fP starts, the shell

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