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The Etc module provides access to information typically stored in files in the /etc directory on Unix systems.

The information accessible consists of the information found in the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files, plus information about he system's temporary directory (/tmp) and configuration directory (/etc).

The Etc module provides a more reliable way to access information about the logged in user than environment variables such as +$USER+.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'etc'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install etc


require 'etc'

 = Etc.getlogin
info = Etc.getpwnam()
username = info.gecos.split(/,/).first
puts "Hello #{username}, I see your login name is #{}"

Note that the methods provided by this module are not always secure. It should be used for informational purposes, and not for security.

All operations defined in this module are class methods, so that you can include the Etc module into your class.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake test to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the 2-Clause BSD License.