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Leopard system environment PATH setting

Leopard PATH setting is quite different from Tiger. Configuring PATH on Tiger, we used to either modify the /etc/path or user path configuration. With Leopard, system-wide path configuration is managed by /etc/profile. The file loads a path_helper script. So what the script does?

The path_helper constructs the system environment PATH in this order:

  1. Reads the local user configuration first, under ~/.bash_login

  2. Appends default system paths /usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin

  3. Reads the paths line by line in /etc/paths

  4. Retrieves all the files in /etc/paths.d/ that contains other packages configurations. For example, I created a file /etc/paths.d/system and stuff in some user paths settings. They are appended after step 3.

In my case, I wanted my XAMPP packages overrides the default Leopard MySQL, PHP and Apache paths ( so I don't have to type in /Application/xampp/xamppfile/bin to use the command every time, also the package is easier to manage ). So just put the paths in the ~/.bash_login, that will override the system default.

Close the Terminal and open it again, to check your path settings, type:

 echo $PATH

There we go, it's updated.