DZone Snippets is a public source code repository. Easily build up your personal collection of code snippets, categorize them with tags / keywords, and share them with the world

Snippets has posted 5883 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

Add A Folder To PATH, But Not If It Is Already In PATH

11.28.2007
| 7083 views |
  • submit to reddit
        Often times one uses a single .profile or .bashrc across several hosts.  These hosts may be differently configured, with varying directory locations, and different initial PATH values from /etc/profile.  In situations like this, setting PATH the traditional way -- "PATH=$PATH:/path/to/some/stuff" -- can result in a cumbersomely long PATH that includes inaccessible or duplicate folders.  

The snippet below nicely handles this problem.  It has been tested on Solaris and Linux.


AddPath ()
# Add argument to $PATH if:
# - it is not already present
# - it is a directory
# - we have execute permission on it
#
# This snippet is public domain; you may use it freely.  Death to copyright, patents, 
# and all other forms of intellectual monopoly.  
#
{
  _folder=$1
  echo " $PATH " | sed 's/:/ /g' | grep " $_folder " > /dev/null
  [ $? -ne 0 ] && [ -d $_folder ] && [ -x $_folder ] && PATH=$PATH:$_folder
  export PATH
}

# Add some common paths:
AddPath /usr/bin
AddPath /usr/local/bin
AddPath /opt/somepackage/bin