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Path Manual


by Matt Boyd


  • Download the tar file. You can find the latest release on SourceForge. The tar file contain three files:
    This file contains the bash shell functions, which provide the Path command line interface. This file will be sourced into your environment.
    This file reads and write the stored variable values.
    This file contains the bash command completion rules for path. This file is optionally sourced into your environment.
  • Extract the tar file. The tar file contains the scripts. The scripts do not need to be in your search path. To use Path, the file must be sourced into your environment (usually from your startup script). Extract the files to a location you can source the file from.
  • Source the files. You can directly source the and path.complete files or you can add them to your startup scripts. If you want path to be available when you start a shell, add the following to your bash startup script (i.e. .bashrc):
. {install_path}/
. {install_path}/path.complete


Creating new variables

To create a new variable, run path edit {variable}. An editor will open a new file. Enter the value of your variable. Then save and exit the editor. The new value will be loaded into your environment.

Editing variable values

The path delimiter. Path files are new-line delimited. That is, each sections of a path appears on a new line. So a PATH variable with the environment setting /bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:~/bin would appear in the editor as:


When Path loads the file, it will insert the environments path delimiter between the lines.

Path does some variable replacement and path expansion. When setting up the PATH variable, various 'bin' directories are often included as '$SOFTWARE_HOME/bin'. Path will expand

Loading variables

Variable are loaded by running the command path load {varname}. In this case, a configuration was not specified so the variable will be loaded from the active configuration. The default configuration is "default". To load a variable from a specific configuration, run path load {varname} {configname}.

Working with Configurations

Configurations exist when a variable exists with any given name. Creating a variable without specifying a configuration name puts it in the active configuration. The default configuration is named "default".

Once one or more variable are in a configuration, that set of variable can be loaded at once by running path config {configname}. This command changes the active configuration to {configname} and load all variables in that configuration.

An active configuration become the default. Running a command like path load VAR loads VAR from {configname}. If that variable doesn't exist in the active configuration then it is set to nothing.


Adds a variable to Path.
Appends a value to the end of a variable.
Loads all variables in the configuration into the environment.
Removes a variable from Path.
edit - path edit [var] [config]
Edits a variable and loads the variable into the environment.
init - path init
If you get yourself in trouble by munging the PATH environment variable, get back to a usable setting by running this command. The ~/.path/.path.init file will be loaded.
Adds a value at the beginning of a variable.
Outputs the contents of a variable in a parsed format.
Loads the variable into the environment.
Renames a variable in path.
Outputs the contents of a variable unparsed.
Removes a variable from path.
Restores a removed variable.
I don't know what this does.
Unloads a variable from the environment. logoBuilt with Apache Forrest logo