Add a custom folder to PATH

less than 1 minute read

The most common directories that hold executable programs are /bin, /sbin, /usr/sbin, /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/sbin. These directories are specified in the $PATH variable.

echo $PATH

Add a directory to $PATH

export PATH=/home/dat/Custom/script:$PATH

However, this change is only temporary and valid only in the current shell session, close the terminal, it will be gone.

Make it permanently

To make it loaded at boot, you need to add it to the shell configuration files, either:

  • Global: /etc/profile, or
  • Local: ~/.bashrc

The principle is, any command added in these files will be run at boot. We add the command to at a directory to $PATH so that it will be run every time we boot our system.

In my case, I want to add a local $PATH directory, so

nano ~/.bashrc

Add the directory /home/dat/Custom/scripts to the $PATH variable by add this line at the end of the file.

export PATH=/home/dat/Custom/scripts:$PATH

To make the change effective immediately.

source ~/.bashrc
  • Note Optionally, you can check if the directory existed before adding at boot:
    if [ -d "/home/dat/Custom/scripts" ] ; then

    It just a little different than export command.

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