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more man page trouble

Link to this post 22 May 09

Linux nEWb,
working my way through the man pages still... confused one in this statement? : export PATH="$PATH:/opt/gnome/bin" I thought I could do export PATH="$PATH=/opt/gnome/bin"???.... Also, this is temp? when I reboot it's gone? right? If I'm learning anything I'd have to put it in ./bashrc or ./bash_profile right?

Link to this post 22 May 09

I am a bit confused because you show the same command in both cases, but the command would be

export PATH="/opt/gnome/bin"


If you enter the command via terminal then it is temporary and will only exist as long as that terminal session is open, you are correct in saying that you need to append it to .bashrc to keep it for future sessions.

Link to this post 23 May 09

I think you should use

export PATH="${PATH}:/opt/gnome/bin"

this appends your PATH-variable.
export PATH="/opt/gnome/bin"

overwrites it afaik.

Link to this post 27 May 09

I'd suggest that you do an

echo $PATH
. That will show you what your PATH variable currently is; it'll be a whole lot of directories, separated by colons. When you type in a command without a path, for example "ls", it will search through those directories, one by one, for a program entitled ls and run it.

Now if you try

export PATH="$PATH:/opt/gnome/bin"
and then
echo $PATH
again, you'll see that the PATH environment variable now has ":/opt/gnome/bin" stuck on the end, but is otherwise unchanged. (The colon is there to separate directories).

Using an equals instead of a colon will probably (I'm not quite sure here) result in it trying to look in a directory with a name something like /bin=/opt/gnome/bin every time it tries to run a command; since /bin= (presumably) doesn't exist, this will cause a problem. Especially as it's no longer looking in /bin (which includes, for example, ls); which can cause problems. (Your PATH might not have /bin at the end; it is merely used in an illustrative sense).

If you use

export PATH="/opt/gnome/bin"
, then your path will only consist of /opt/gnome/bin. Now try something simple, like ls... and then it's probably a good idea to close that terminal and open a new one.

Link to this post 28 May 09

CCC wrote:

Now if you try [code]export PATH="$PATH:/opt/gnome/bin"[/code] and then [code]echo $PATH[/code] again, you'll see that the PATH environment variable now has ":/opt/gnome/bin" stuck on the end, but is otherwise unchanged. (The colon is there to separate directories).

DON'T do this:
export PATH="$PATH:/opt/gnome/bin"
as environment variables can get confused depending upon the following character (a colon in this case). It is better to use
export PATH="${PATH}:/opt/gnome/bin"
Using $PATH by itself is not recommended. Using ${PATH} is as there is no ambiguity - the terminating curly-brace is definitive.

Link to this post 28 May 09

if you are confuse, the easiest way is to add the "/opt/gnome/bin"
to the last colon in the line PATH in your .bashrc

;)

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