did I screw up my system here?

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farmwife
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:37 pm

did I screw up my system here?

Post by farmwife »

I installed Mint 15 KDE x64 and wanted to add a directory to the $PATH variable. This is the command I tried first:

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$ set $PATH = %$PATH% + /home/[username]/python
That did not return an error message, but my $PATH as displayed with echo $PATH didn't change. So I tried this:

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$ set --help
That returned an error message. So I tried:

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$ set
And that created so much output that it scrolled off the top of my terminal buffer. So I tried another way to get help:

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$ set -h
Oops. No output whatsoever. So I tried this in order to find out what I'd done to my system:

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$ man set
And got an error message saying there is no man page entry for set.

So how badly have I messed things up? Do I need to reinstall? I mean, everything seems to work fine, but I have no idea if there aren't problems brewing deep in the bowels of my OS.
wallaroo
Level 3
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Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:42 am
Location: Australia

Re: did I screw up my system here?

Post by wallaroo »

Rest assured no damage done - any environmental variable changes only apply to the current shell, as soon as you close the shell (terminal session) they get thrown away.

Generally the commands to use are:
To list all environment variables use

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env
To show a specific variable value use 'echo'

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echo $PATH
To add to the existing PATH use

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PATH=$PATH:/home/[username]/python
To make this PATH change permanent for you every time you login you will need to edit the '.profile' file in your home directory.
(You may see an example already in '.profile' where '$HOME/bin' is being conditionally added to your $PATH variable)
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