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A user path is a set of directories that command-line programs retrieve for execution. For example, if you type ‘iostat’ in a terminal, iostat will be executed from the / usr / sbin directory because “/ usr / sbin” is part of your $ PATH information. Therefore, users who frequently use the command line may need to customize or add new paths to their terminal in order for the commands to be executed correctly.
Perhaps already obvious, the modification of PATH is intended for more advanced users and developers who use the terminal and spend a lot of time on the command line. Average Mac users usually don’t need to change, add, or otherwise adjust this in Mac OS X. Speaking of Mac OS X, while this is obviously Mac-centric, you can use this same trick to add PATH to the shell as well, like most other unix flavors.
Before you begin, you may want to see the current $ PATH just in case you shuffle something, so you can easily restore it by exporting with the same commands. Check the current $ PATH by typing: “echo $ PATH”
Adding a directory to a PATH
The easiest way to add a new path to $ PATH (environment variable) is with the export command. In this example, “~ / opt / bin” is added to the user’s PATH by exporting:
vie PATH = $ PATH: ~ / opt / bin
You can run it directly from the command line and then check with the $ PATH echo to show that it was added like this:
echo $ PATH
This should return something like this, note the newly added ~ / opt / bin directory at the end:
/ usr / bin: / bin: / usr / sbin: / sbin: / usr / local / bin: / Users / bollyinside / opt / bin
How to add multiple paths to a path
Just as multiple paths can be saved and bound together according to the $ PATH directory, you can add new paths this way as well. We use the same example as before, but this time add the ~ / dev / bin directory as well:
vie PATH = $ PATH: ~ / opt / bin: ~ / dev / bin
Setting the PATH to a Shell profile
Keep in mind that patch changes will continue, you must add them to the ~ / .profile, .zshrc, or ~ / .bash_profile file, depending on which shell you are using. Use it with your favorite text editor, whether it’s nano, emacs or vim. If it gets complicated, you may want to add comments to your .profile to make things easy to scan:
#Adding bin and dev bin to PATH funexport PATH = $ PATH: ~ / opt / bin: ~ / dev / bin
Bash is the default shell in many versions of Mac OS X, but zsh is the default in later modern releases, and of course there are other shells like sh, ksh, and tcsh also included with the Mac. Changing the Mac OS X shell is a very easy process with either chsh or Terminal and / or iTerm2 settings.
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