Change root prompt (Solaris)

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# 1  
Change root prompt (Solaris)

Hello all. I was wondering if there is a way to change the root prompt.

I am using Solaris 10 and would like to have the root prompt display the current directory along with 'SU' to indicate root status.

What I have tried so far:


changed the root shell to korn with /bin/ksh

and in /etc/default/su


saving changes and rebooted the system.

Unfortunately that did not have the desired effect.

Is there a different file that needs to be edited to change the root prompt from the default # or is this not possible?

# 2  
Depending on your needs you just set the value of PS1 in $HOME/.profile or $HOME/.kshrc
# 3  
For what its worth, I personally would stay away from changing the root shell in /etc/passwd. root runs many things within the OS and I have found this to not be a good thing. If you want the root shell to be ksh, create a root .profile and simply execute it there.
Now, to answer your question.
Since /etc/profile is read for all logins, no matter which shell, I have found it most useful to modify the /etc/profile so users know which system they are on. Feel free to try this with your $PWD:
if [ "$LOGNAME" = "root" ]
PS1="ROOT@`uname -n`# " ; export PS1
PS1="$LOGNAME@`uname -n`$ " ; export PS1
# 4  
Originally Posted by 22blaze
For what its worth, I personally would stay away from changing the root shell in /etc/passwd. root runs many things within the OS and I have found this to not be a good thing.
There is no problem with changing it on Solaris 10. The old "/sbin/sh" is a statically linked shell no longer applies in Solaris 10. If something breaks because of the login shell it's badly written and should be fixed, either locally if it's an in-house application/script or else reported to the OS vendor.

On the other hand I do not like editing /etc/profile for user options. This is exactly why the home directory alternatives exist.
# 5  
Thanks for the tip on old /sbin/sh.
Understood on the "should be fixed".
As for the debate on /etc/profile vs. user home dirs, we can agree to disagree. It is a personal preference and as you said, it can be overridden by the user specific profile. For me, the /etc/profile entry ensures that I have put in a method of "self check" for admins who may be working on mulitiple systems at the same time and don't reboot the wrong server because they forgot to check which one they were on.
# 6  
Thanks all for the suggestions. I have reverted the root shell in /etc/passwd back to /sbin/sh

I am still not getting the root prompt to change to show the current directory with (su) to show root status.

Here is what I now have in /etc/profile

#code to set prompt
if [ "$LOGNAME" = "root" ]
PS1='$PWD(SU)>'; export PS1
PS1='$PWD>'; export PS1

I log in to this box via telnet and here are what the prompts look like:

login: robert
Last login: Thu Jan 1 23:54:46 from
Sun Microsystems Inc. SunOS 5.10 Generic January 2005
$LOGNAME still has me as "robert" even after going to root:

# echo $LOGNAME
So I am not sure if the code in /etc/profile will work if it is based off of $LOGNAME. Unless /etc/profile is not the place to use it...?

Also I have tried the $PWD(SU)> in single and double quotes and still have not gotten the desired result.

Any suggestion on how to change the root prompt would be much appreciated.

# 7  
Google knows all it seems or at least with enough poking around, you can find a hint that will help.

I tried going to root like such:
su - root

and the prompt did not change.

Changing the root shell in /etc/passwd to:

and trying again, the prompt changed to what I want.


Now the question remains, is there a problem leaving the root shell set at /bin/ksh?


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