Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Modify The System-Wide PATH

For years, when I wanted to add a directory to the system path I have been adding something like PATH=$PATH:/new/path to the end of /etc/profile.

This is because this is the "answer" that many people provide when you do a Google search on how to do it.

However, in Ubuntu the default path is not set in this file so I have always had the feeling that this is not the "right" way to do this. There must be somewhere else that holds this info?

Well I just discovered it.

The system path is set in /etc/environment.

Here is the default path;

brettg@jupiter:~$ cat /etc/environment

To add a path simply stick a colon at the end followed by your new path;


Easy peasy! (When you know how)

This does not apply to debian (squeeze), the system path is set in /etc/profile same as other systems.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! This exact same thing got me for about a week. I'm new to Ubuntu but not to Unix.