Display or print UNIX / Linux path ~ $PATH variable

September 8, 2019

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I am a new Linux or Unix system user and I am using a Debian Linux VPS. How do I print current path settings under BASH or sh or ksh shell?

In Linux or Unix-like file systems, the human-readable address of a resource is defined by PATH. On Unix / Linux like operating systems, (as well as on DOS / Windows and its descendants), PATH is an environment variable listing a set of paths to directories where executable may be found.

Display current PATH

Use the echo command as follows:
$ echo $PATH
Sample output:


You can use the printf command as well to show the current PATH settings:
$ printf "%sn" $PATH
Sample outputs:


Modify current PATH

Use the export command to add /opt/games to PATH, enter:
export PATH=$PATH:/opt/games
To format your PATH variable for easy viewing, add following code to your bash startup file (such as ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile) :

function path(){
    printf "%sn" $PATH

function path(){
printf "%sn" $PATH

Now just run path:
$ path


Another option is to run the following command:
echo $PATH | tr ":" "n" | nl
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Printing $PATH on Linux or Unix-like system

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.