I'm just trying to follow this tutorial and set up my environment. My system is WSL Ubuntu 18.04. Here is already an answer on my question, but I as an absolute novice in Linux/UNIX don't know which variant presented there more suitable for my goal. Do I need to add this string

export PATH="$PATH:/path/to/dir"

into my ~/.profile or ~/.bashrc file?

Or may I need to accomplish the second step from the answer?

cd /usr/bin
sudo ln -s /path/to/binary binary-name

And then run these commands?

source ~/.profile 
source ~/.bashrc
  • Add it to your .bashrc
    – j-money
    Jan 29, 2019 at 13:20
  • The .bashrc file should be fine! Jan 29, 2019 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


If you make a ~/bin folder in your home folder, it'll already be in your default path. No need to modify anything, or add folders to a hidden .local folder. Create the ~/bin folder, log out, log back in, and open a terminal window, and you can confirm the path by typing echo $PATH.

Update #1:

If you decide to use ~/.local/bin anyway, add this to the end of your ~/.profile...

# set PATH so it includes user's private ~/.local/bin if it exists
if [ -d "$HOME/.local/bin" ] ; then

Then log out, log back in, and your new path will be available.

  • According the tutorial (link in my question) next command python -m site --user-base should output ~/.local/bin But now only ~/.local This command - export PYTHONUSERBASE=/myappenv solve the problem, but only till reload.
    – Alex
    Jan 29, 2019 at 16:38
  • @AlexStelmakh that tutorial, and extra link, is TL;DR, but is mostly for linux and Mac. I'd follow something else as a learning guide.
    – heynnema
    Jan 29, 2019 at 16:52
  • 1
    What is TL;DR? I need a guide for Ubuntu 18.04
    – Alex
    Jan 29, 2019 at 17:08
  • @AlexStelmakh Too Long;Didn't Read. See help.ubuntu.com for help guides on Ubuntu.
    – heynnema
    Jan 29, 2019 at 19:33
  • ~/.local (with ~ expanded to the absolute path to your home directory) so you’ll need to add ~/.local/bin to your PATH. You can set your PATH permanently by modifying ~/.profile. I'm trying to follow these instructions. And accordingly it is not as simple as adding /bin in my home directory.
    – Alex
    Jan 30, 2019 at 18:37

The PATH variable gets changed when this shell command is executed:

export PATH=$PATH:/your/new/path

The ~/.bashrc and ~/.profile will be executed automatically when you open a bash session (normally when you open a new terminal window/tab).

So if you want to change the PATH in current shell session only, you could just type export PATH=xxx and execute it once. But if you want to make it difference permanently, you should add the command above into ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile.

  • Should be the second part of the command enclosed in quotes? Like this one. export PATH="$PATH:/home/maverick/.local/bin" As this (tinyurl.com/y86jc2pp) answer suggests it should be enclosed. I entered the command above, but PATH still the same. I proved this by next command: python -m site --user-base And the result's as follows: /home/maverick/.local
    – Alex
    Jan 29, 2019 at 14:57
  • @AlexStelmakh python -m site --user-base just tell you where the pip packages are installed at. You can view the PATH in the current bash session by the command echo $PATH. Jan 29, 2019 at 15:07

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