This is a simple note on how to add a directory to your PATH. The $PATH environment variable is a list of all directories in which Linux will look for commands, scripts and programs. Linux uses the bash shell. When an account is created using Linux user manager, or linuxconf, a file called .bash_profile is created in the user home directory, similar to the one shown below:
# Get the aliases and functions
if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]; then
# User specific environment and startup programs
export USERNAME BASH_ENV PATH
The line we are interested is: PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin
This line is defining the PATH for your logon in the bash shell as the general PATH variable -- $PATH -- plus your home directory -- $HOME -- subdirectory bin.
To add a directory to the PATH just edit this line including a colon : and the new directory. For example to add: /usr/programs/bin to the PATH you would change the line to:
You will need to logout and login again for this change to take effect, of course.
(You can see the value of $PATH or $HOME by typing echo $PATH, or echo $HOME. Please note that the root user will have a different path than common users.)
This page is maintained by Al Bento who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was last updated on April 10, 2001. Although we will attempt to keep this information accurate, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.