From Fedora Project Wiki

/sbin sanity


Fix problems arising from the split between /bin and /sbin.


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 10
  • Last updated: September 11, 2008
  • Percentage of completion: 100%

Detailed Description

Historically, Fedora enforces the split between /bin and /sbin by leaving /sbin and /usr/sbin out of the PATH for normal users. However, binaries that are commonly used for information-gathering (ifconfig, route) by normal users should not be placed out of their reach. Things that are commonly run with sudo should also be in PATH.

Therefore, we should either be smarter about where binaries are located or change the default PATH.

Benefit to Fedora

This is possibly the most common Fedora FAQ. It's the first problem that anyone new to Fedora encounters and it causes people annoyance for no real gain.


Change the default PATH to include /usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin for all users. Note that it must come at the end of the path for normal users, or consolehelper will break.

Packages and files to change

  • setup
    • /etc/profile - for bash, zsh, etc.
    • /etc/csh.login - for csh, tcsh, etc.

Test Plan

Ensure that the system starts as expected, without messages about missing binaries or anything similar.

The following commonly-used commands should run normally:

 sudo service iptables status

consolehelper-based apps should still prompt for the root password and run normally. Examples:


User Experience

Things like ifconfig and sudo service NetworkManager restart work as expected for normal users.

People are no longer baffled by "missing" binaries after using su.


A patch that implements these changes is in bug 458176.

The required changes were made September 3 and are included in setup-2.7.3-1.

Contingency Plan

Revert the change to setup and everything goes back to the way it was.


None needed

Release Notes

/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin has been added to the PATH for normal users, to simplify command-line administration tasks.

Comments and Discussion

See Talk:Features/SbinSanity