bash bug?: nested "bash --login -i" doesn't run /etc/profile (still runs ~/.bash_profile)

Daniel Barclay
Mon Oct 4 16:19:00 GMT 2010

I wrote:
> The behavior of "bash --login -i" seems to vary depending on whether
> it is a "root" invocation or a nested invocation of bash. This is
> inconsistent with the description man bash, and seems to be a bug.

Can anyone confirm (or "anti-confirm") this behavior?:

> Details:
> When bash is started using the Cygwin shortcut (which runs cygwin.bat,
> which executes "bash --login -i"), bash reads files /etc/profile and
> ~/.bash_profile. (Running "bash --login -i" from an interactive
> "cmd" shell does the same.)
> However, when in that first bash process, another bash is started with
> that same "bash --login -i" command, bash does _not_ read /etc/profile.
> Interestingly, that nested bash shell _does_ still read
> ~/.bash_profile.
> According to the bash manual page, "bash --login -i" should read
> /etc/profile in either case. (There is no mention of anything, e.g.,
> an environment variable from the context of the invocation, that
> changes the behavior of that command.)
> An additional symptom is that the nested bash does not listen to
> SHELLOPTS as expected:
> A root invocation notices "igncr", "verbose", and "xtrace" in the
> SHELLOPTS value from its invocation environment (the Windows/cmd
> environment variable) as specified--it ends up setting SHELLOPTS in
> itself to a value that includes those options.
> On the other hand, a nested invocation seems to ignore the SHELLOPTS
> from its invocation environment (the environment variable from the
> first bash shell/process)--it sets its SHELLOPTS to a value that does
> _not_ include those options.)
> Steps to reproduce (and easily see difference):
> 1. Set Windows environment variable SHELLOPTS to
> "igncr:verbose:xtrace".
> 2. Start bash using the installer-created Cygwin shortcut.
> 3. Notice (from the output from the "verbose" and "xtrace" options)
> that bash runs /etc/profile and then ~/.bash_profile.
> 4. Notice (from "set") that SHELLOPTS in bash includes "igncr",
> "verbose" and "xtrace" (among other options).
> 5. Execute "bash --login -i".
> 6. Notice (again, from the verbose/xtrace output) that bash does
> _not_ run /etc/profile, but still runs ~/.bash_profile.
> 7. Notice that SHELLOPTS in that invocation of bash does not include
> "igncr", "verbose" or "xtrace".
> It seems that something is going wrong between the points at which bash
> reads SHELLOPTS and runs /etc/profile and the point at which bash runs
> ~/.bash_profile.


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