Following on from my last post on how to add shared libraries to Linux's system library path I wanted to share a related tip on system-wide environment variables.
Common reasons for doing this are setting your locale, setting the location of a Java installation or specifying the character set that your database is using (if you use Oracle then that would be the NLS_LANG environment variable). Debian actually has a policy against system-wide environment variables stating "a program must not depend on environment variables to get reasonable defaults" and suggests that all programs should have wrapper shell scripts to set the relevant variables.
Ignoring this sound advice I tried adding them to
/etc/profile but this didn't work when ssh was used from a remote machine to execute some commands (I was using Capistrano).
I couldn't find a complete way to do it (it wasn't picked up by any start scripts in
/etc/init.d) but I achieved the most success by placing my variables in
LANG=en_GBJust remember that you don't need to
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