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I've been trying to install Android developer tools on Eclipse, and I followed the information in this video.

Like the video said, I added the following two lines of code to the .bashrc file:

export PATH=$(PATH):-/android-sdk/tools/
export PATH=$(PATH):-/android-sdk/platform-tools/

It seems, however, that this did not help me to install the Android files on Eclipse, as I am still having problems with that. What's more, it seems that I can't make any command in the terminal without getting a major error now! Every time I try to make a command in the terminal I get the following message:

The command could not be located because '/usr/bin' is not included in the PATH environment variable.

Is there away to restore .bashrc to its default?

marked as duplicate by Zanna, David Foerster, Kaz Wolfe, Elder Geek, Eric Carvalho Apr 1 '17 at 2:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    Root cause: The $(PATH) should in fact be $PATH – Elder Geek Mar 31 '17 at 17:14

Type the following in your terminal,

/bin/cp /etc/skel/.bashrc ~/

It will replace your corrupt ~/.bashrc with a fresh one. After that you need to source the ~/.bashrc so that the change take place immediately, write in terminal,

source ~/.bashrc

or if that does not work you can close the terminal and open it again.

  • Thank you for the response! For some reason I am still getting the error message – sarahrahrah Jan 12 '14 at 20:04
  • 1
    what is the exact error message? – souravc Jan 13 '14 at 2:08
  • Command 'cp' is available in '/bin/cp' The command could not be located because '/bin' is not included in the PATH environment variable. cp: command not found – sarahrahrah Jan 13 '14 at 13:23
  • what is the output of echo $PATH? – souravc Jan 13 '14 at 13:26
  • 4
    Note, this is essentially an overkill solution and will remove any other modification that you have done to the file. – Braiam May 9 '14 at 0:39

If you can't get a working shell

Via the file browser

  • Open the file browser, go to the home directory, press CtrlH so that hidden files are shown. Edit .bashrc as needed.
  • Open the file browser, go to /etc/skel, press CtrlH so that hidden files are shown. Copy .bashrc to your home folder to restore it to the default.

Via the run menu

  • Press AltF2, type gedit .bashrc, press Enter. Edit as needed.
  • Press AltF2, use the command /bin/cp /etc/skel/.bashrc ~/ as given in souravc's answer to restore it to the default.

Via the terminal

  • Open the terminal, and ignore that you don't have a shell. Go to EditPreferencesProfiles:

    enter image description here

  • Either create a new profile, or edit the current profile, to change the command:

    enter image description here

    Use either /bin/bash --norc or /bin/bash --rcfile=/etc/skel/.bashrc.

  • Start a new tab (with the custom profile, if you created one). Use the working shell as needed.
  • Delete the custom profile, or uncheck the custom command option if you edited the default profile, once you're done.

If you have SSH

Run SSH with a custom command, which should help you bypass the .bashrc:

ssh -t <host> dash

The dash shell (aka /bin/sh) is minimal, but sufficient for restoring the .bashrc.

If you can't get a GUI and don't have SSH

Boot into recovery mode (How do I boot into recovery mode?), which will get you a root shell. Look in /home for your user's home directory.


Via the TTY

You can enter the TTY by pressing ctrl+alt+f1 where you have to login with your user-name and your password. ctrl+alt+f7 will bring you back to your GUI later.

Now copy the existing raw .bashrc from /etc/skel to your home directory by

cp /etc/skel/.bashrc ~/

Maybe even bring the rest over if you're not sure if your .profile was changed too.

cp /etc/skel/.profile ~/

Now to get the .bashrc to have immediate effect you might want to source it with:

source ~/.bashrc

If you did replace your .profile as well you need to reboot to make it take effect.


I tried the above answers, but for some reason my /etc/skel/ directory did not have the correct files in it.

I found a copy of the default ~/.bashrc file on this GitHub Gist by Mario Bonales. The full script is copied here for completeness.

# ~/.bashrc: executed by bash(1) for non-login shells.
# see /usr/share/doc/bash/examples/startup-files (in the package bash-doc)
# for examples

# If not running interactively, don't do anything
[ -z "$PS1" ] && return

# don't put duplicate lines in the history. See bash(1) for more options
# ... or force ignoredups and ignorespace

# append to the history file, don't overwrite it
shopt -s histappend

# for setting history length see HISTSIZE and HISTFILESIZE in bash(1)

# check the window size after each command and, if necessary,
# update the values of LINES and COLUMNS.
shopt -s checkwinsize

# make less more friendly for non-text input files, see lesspipe(1)
[ -x /usr/bin/lesspipe ] && eval "$(SHELL=/bin/sh lesspipe)"

# set variable identifying the chroot you work in (used in the prompt below)
if [ -z "$debian_chroot" ] && [ -r /etc/debian_chroot ]; then
    debian_chroot=$(cat /etc/debian_chroot)

# set a fancy prompt (non-color, unless we know we "want" color)
case "$TERM" in
    xterm-color) color_prompt=yes;;

# uncomment for a colored prompt, if the terminal has the capability; turned
# off by default to not distract the user: the focus in a terminal window
# should be on the output of commands, not on the prompt

if [ -n "$force_color_prompt" ]; then
    if [ -x /usr/bin/tput ] && tput setaf 1 >&/dev/null; then
    # We have color support; assume it's compliant with Ecma-48
    # (ISO/IEC-6429). (Lack of such support is extremely rare, and such
    # a case would tend to support setf rather than setaf.)

if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '
unset color_prompt force_color_prompt

# If this is an xterm set the title to user@host:dir
case "$TERM" in
    PS1="\[\e]0;${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h: \w\a\]$PS1"

# enable color support of ls and also add handy aliases
if [ -x /usr/bin/dircolors ]; then
    test -r ~/.dircolors && eval "$(dircolors -b ~/.dircolors)" || eval "$(dircolors -b)"
    alias ls='ls --color=auto'
    #alias dir='dir --color=auto'
    #alias vdir='vdir --color=auto'

    alias grep='grep --color=auto'
    alias fgrep='fgrep --color=auto'
    alias egrep='egrep --color=auto'

# some more ls aliases
alias ll='ls -alF'
alias la='ls -A'
alias l='ls -CF'

# Add an "alert" alias for long running commands.  Use like so:
#   sleep 10; alert
alias alert='notify-send --urgency=low -i "$([ $? = 0 ] && echo terminal || echo error)" "$(history|tail -n1|sed -e '\''s/^\s*[0-9]\+\s*//;s/[;&|]\s*alert$//'\'')"'

# Alias definitions.
# You may want to put all your additions into a separate file like
# ~/.bash_aliases, instead of adding them here directly.
# See /usr/share/doc/bash-doc/examples in the bash-doc package.

if [ -f ~/.bash_aliases ]; then
    . ~/.bash_aliases

# enable programmable completion features (you don't need to enable
# this, if it's already enabled in /etc/bash.bashrc and /etc/profile
# sources /etc/bash.bashrc).
if [ -f /etc/bash_completion ] && ! shopt -oq posix; then
    . /etc/bash_completion

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