Adding a Directory to the Bash Path

How to add a directory to the Bash $PATH

This is a short and simple tip, but something I thought was worth remembering. I like to store my scripts in my ~/bin directory, keeping them all neat and organized. Rather than linking them to my /usr/local/bin directory or typing ~/bin/command-name, I prefer to simply add ~/bin to my Bash path, allowing me to type command-name. Some Linux distros do this for you, but some don't, so here is how to do it.

Simply create/edit the ~/.profile file and add the lines:

if [ -d "$HOME/bin" ] ; then
    PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH"
fi

You can add other directories here, too. It simply checks that the directory exists and, if it does, adds it to the $PATH variable. After relogging, you will see that you can now run commands in that directory as if it was linked to the /usr/local/bin directory. Bash will automatically read this file every time you log on, so there are no other changes to make!

Posted by Christopher Wassall on Sun, 11 Oct 2009 00:06:15 GMT

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