How to permanently set $PATH on Linux

Adding a directory to the $PATH on Linux permanently is easy to do. Although many Linux user don’t know how to do that. That’s why in this article I will show you guys how to do that.

First of all, we have to know that why we have to add a directory to the $PATH. $PATH is environment variable and when we add a directory to the $PATH, we are actually telling the shell something. We told the shell to look for an executable file in that directory. The main reason of adding a path to the $PATH is that, each time we don’t have to put the full file location to execute any file.

So how to add a directory to the $PATH? Let me show you that.

Permanently set $PATH on Linux

To add something to the $PATH just follow my steps and you’ll be good to go.

1. Adding it to ~/.profile or ~/.bashrc file

First you have to add the bath to your ~/.profile or ~/.bashrc file. To do that use this command and you’ll be good to go.

export PATH="$PATH:/path/to/dir"

2. Symlink to binaries

You may also need to symlink to binaries. But it depends on what you are going to do.

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To do that use this command:

cd /usr/bin && sudo ln -s /path/to/binary binary-name

3. Update the path

Finally you just need to update the path and you’re good to go. To update the path use this command:

source ~/.profile


source ~/.bashrc

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