Add to the PATH on Mac OS X

echo $PATH

Last Updated: Jun 21st 2021

In the process of setting up a new Mac, I installed node.js.  After the node.js installer finished, it recommended to add /usr/local/share/npm/bin to my path.  It turns out there is a very neat way to do this in OS X, the /etc/paths file!  The file contains a list (one per line) of paths that are added to the $PATH variable in the shell. Here are some quick directions to add to the path:

Open up Terminal.

Run the following command:

sudo nano /etc/paths

  • Enter your password, when prompted.
  • Go to the bottom of the file, and enter the path you wish to add.
  • Hit control-x to quit.
  • Enter “Y” to save the modified buffer.
  • That’s it!  To test it, in new terminal window, type:

echo $PATH

You should see something similar to this (including the path you’ve added!):


MacMini:~ user$ echo $PATH


Here is a screenshot of what my file looks like:

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