I was trying to add something to the PATH with :

export PATH=/user/home/sbt/bin

but I removed all of the content of PATH and I can not run any command on the terminal even ls ! So what should I do ? Can I fix it ?

  • Have you tried with sudo PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games? This will only work for the actual session.
    – Lucio
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:54
  • Thank you @Lucio it helped me, but is there any way to undo to the old content ?
    – myildirim
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:56
  • Did the method of the answer below worked for you?
    – Lucio
    Mar 25, 2013 at 19:09
  • Also, to know what paths do you have, enter cat /etc/environment in a terminal.
    – Lucio
    Mar 25, 2013 at 20:29
  • @Lucio, after log out and log in the below worked for me
    – myildirim
    Mar 25, 2013 at 22:45

3 Answers 3


Close the terminal app, and open a new one. The variable will be reset to its original state then.

If you're on a virtual terminal, and not running gnome-terminal or similar under X11, then you can log out and log back in again, to reset the variables. You can type exit to log out, or press Ctrl+D.


In case, the answer by dobey doesn't work for you.

Follow these steps to recover the PATH environment variable :

  • Delete the culprit file from /etc/profile.d/ (if any)
  • Delete the culprit line from /etc/profile or ~/.bashrc (if any)
  • Execute source /etc/environment to start reseting the path environment variable
  • Execute source /etc/profile followed by source /etc/profile.d/*
  • At last source ~/.bashrc

For you case you could Use command: export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/user/home/sbt/bin

then use command sudo gedit /etc/environment delete whatever it is in then copy and paste this PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/user/home/sbt/bin"

finally run a command source /etc/environment

Now you should be fine

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