I'm upgrading a bunch of installations of 10.04 to 12.04. In 10.04 I used to define system wide env. variables in /etc/environment.

It works, but not for $PATH that seems to be overwirtten.

I don't want to define it in /etc/bash.bashrc nor /etc/profile because I want all desktop apps can see its value properly, not only the terminal.

Anybody knows where could $PATH get overwritten? If I log in via tty the PATH has the value I indicated in /etc/environment but if I log into X the PATH has the value /usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/games

Any help will be appreciated.

  • Recently I had the following problem with the X. Including some header files of the X library, my project stopped working in a very mysterious way. Turns out someone, tens of years ago, wrote in the header #define Status int. My point is: this could be a bug.
    – Vorac
    Aug 2, 2012 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


Please check /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc, /etc/X11/Xsession and the files in /etc/skel.

I assume that you have ruled out any user specific configuration files by creating a brand new user and logging in as that user.

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