Show how you can add /home/<yourusername>/bin to the $PATH variable. Use $HOME (or ~) to represent your home directory.

  • 4
    Reopen Voters /home/<yourusername>/bin is a Special directory that gets automatically added to the $PATH after it's been created and ~/.profile is reloaded. The duplicate target is about adding generic directories to the path such as /mary/had/a/little/lamb. Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 23:38
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix So what? Why should this be reopened? Do the answers to the dupe no longer apply? In fact, the accepted answer to the dupe mentions this very directory, and provides the same snippet that's in the default ~/.profile!
    – muru
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 1:41
  • @muru The "so what" is that you don't need to add /home/YOURNAME/bin to the$PATH. It's done automatically. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 1:49
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix again, does that mean the answers to the dupe can't be used?
    – muru
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 1:52
  • Reopen Voters: The only "special" part is that after you create this directory and start a login shell (or source ~/.profile), this gets added to the PATH. For all other cases, the answers to the dupe will have to be used. This is a dupe.
    – muru
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 1:54

2 Answers 2


To do that you need to type in your terminal:

export PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH"

This change is only temporary (it works only in the current session of the shell). To make it permanent, add the line to your .bashrc file located in your home directory.

  • 2
    I would use /home/user_name rather then $HOME
    – Panther
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 18:27
  • 6
    It is the same. If you try "echo $HOME" you will probably see the folder /home/user_name... Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 19:51
  • $HOME is a variable and is thus ambiguous. IMO it is best to use the full path in scripts and when adding to your $PATH
    – Panther
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 19:54
  • 9
    @bodhi.zazen Your HOME is not guaranteed to by at the same location on different systems. For example, I use the same .bashrc on Linux and MacOS, and hard-coding the full path would not work.
    – Gauthier
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 11:34

Ubuntu (and Debian based distros) automatically add $HOME/bin to the PATH if that directory is present. You can check this in ~/.profile:

# set PATH so it includes user's private bin if it exists
if [ -d "$HOME/bin" ] ; then
  • 1
    In case ~/.profile is not loaded add this to your ~.bashrc: PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH"
    – rubo77
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 10:50
  • What does "-d" do? This actually prepends several ~/bin into $PATH if you have multiple logins. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 12:48
  • @sdaffa23fdsf "-d" is for a directory. To check its existence Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 8:58
  • @sdaffa23fdsf Do you have a documented example of the multiple ~/bin? In that case the ~/.profile script should be changed to check if ~/bin is already in the path before prepending it to $PATH. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 1:54
  • I actually need to create this file in Arch.
    – Polv
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 9:26

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