I'm using zsh terminal, and I'm trying to add a new entry (/home/david/pear/bin) to the PATH variable. I don't see a reference to the PATH variable in my ~/.zshrc file, but doing echo $PATH returns:


So I know that the path variable is being set somewhere. Where is the PATH variable set / modified for the zsh terminal?

Solution 1

Actually, using ZSH allows you to use special mapping of environment variables. So you can simply do:

# append
# or prepend
path=('/home/david/pear/bin' $path)
# export to sub-processes (make it inherited by child processes)
export PATH

For me that's a very neat feature which can be propagated to other variables. Example:

typeset -T LD_LIBRARY_PATH ld_library_path :

Solution 2

Here, add this line to .zshrc:

export PATH=/home/david/pear/bin:$PATH

EDIT: This does work, but ony's answer above is better, as it takes advantage of the structured interface ZSH provides for variables like $PATH. This approach is standard for bash, but as far as I know, there is no reason to use it when ZSH provides better alternatives.

Solution 3

You can append to your PATH in a minimal fashion. No need for parentheses unless you're appending more than one element. It also usually doesn't need quotes. So the simple, short way to append is:


This lower-case syntax is using path as an array, yet also affects its upper-case partner equivalent, PATH (to which it is "bound" via typeset).

(Notice that no : is needed/wanted as a separator.)

Common interactive usage

Then the common pattern for testing a new script/executable becomes:

# or

Common config usage

You can sprinkle path settings around your .zshrc (as above) and it will naturally lead to the earlier listed settings taking precedence (though you may occasionally still want to use the "prepend" form path=(/some/new/bin/dir $path)).

Related tidbits

Treating path this way (as an array) also means: no need to do a rehash to get the newly pathed commands to be found.

Also take a look at vared path as a dynamic way to edit path (and other things).

You may only be interested in path for this question, but since we're talking about exports and arrays, note that arrays generally cannot be exported.

You can even prevent PATH from taking on duplicate entries (refer to this and this):

typeset -U path

PATH pre-populated

The reason your path already has some entries in it is due to your system shell files setting path for you. This is covered in a couple other posts:

Solution 4

one liner, without opening ~/.zshrc file

echo -n 'export PATH=~/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.zshrc


echo -n 'export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.zshrc

To see the effect, do source ~/.zshrc in the same tab or open a new tab

Solution 5

  1. Added path to ~/.zshrc

    sudo vi ~/.zshrc

    add new path

    export PATH="$PATH:[NEW_DIRECTORY]/bin"
  2. Update ~/.zshrc

    Save ~/.zshrc

    source ~/.zshrc

  3. Check PATH

    echo $PATH

Solution 6

OPTION 1: Add this line to ~/.zshrc:

export "PATH=$HOME/pear/bin:$PATH"

After that you need to run source ~/.zshrc in order your changes to take affect OR close this window and open a new one

OPTION 2: execute it inside the terminal console to add this path only to the current terminal window session. When you close the window/session, it will be lost.

Solution 7

for me PATH=$PATH:/path/to/file/bin then export PATH worked. to check echo $PATH . other solutions are adding the path temporarily.

Solution 8

I'm on Monterey 12.4 and the only way I could change the path was using the helper function. Editing text files in nano did diddly squat

# append
# export to sub-processes 
export PATH

Solution 9

to verify your new directory has been added correctly, you can use

print -l $path

thanks to the fact that its type is known to be an array

Solution 10

If you are on macOS (I'm on Monterey 12.3.1), you may have been pulling your hair like I did metaphorically. These instructions above all worked for me within the terminal session, but I could never get it to persist no matter what I did with export. Moreover, I couldn't find the .zshrc anywhere.

Turns out Apple does it differently. The file you need to edit is etc/paths. You can simply sudo nano /etc/paths and add your path in a new line. Then simply restart terminal and voila.