Because .bash_profile is only seen on login, not on 'su'.  Put
it in .bashrc which is read when the shell is invoked.

See 'man bash'


Daniel Underwood presented these words - circa 4/24/09 12:43 PM->
When I am logged in as a non-root user and I try to become root by
entering "su" and typing the root password, the resulting bash prompt
does not reflect the contents of /root/.bash_profile

My /root/.bash_profile contains (among other things):

export PS1="[\e[1;31m\]$(tput bold)\u$(tput sgr0)\[\e[0...@\h \w]\$ "

The point is to make the username ("root") display in BOLD and RED
text.  After su'ing, the text is not bold nor red.  If I then enter
"source ~/.bash_profile", however, the prompt displays correctly,
showing "root" in bold and red text.

How come su'ing doesn't seem to effect everything in the
/root/.bash_profile file?

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