I'm getting this message upon startup, just after I login as a user. I recently installed nodejs, realized I should have researched it more and installed it LOCALLY, and subsequently went through file system and deleted everything node and npm. I've been using Ubuntu for a while, delve into the command line once in a while, but I'm only starting to get familiar with the file system, and I dont know anything about this issue. Here's what it says:

 Error found when loading /home/j/.profile:

 /home/j/.profile: line 23: export: '/home/j/.npm/bin': not a valid

 As a result the session will not be configured correctly. You should
 fix the problem as soon as feasible.

I guess this is because I purposely deleted it? TBH, I am not sure I can track down EVERYTHING I did to bungle all this, but here how the ~/.profile reads:

line 23:

export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games: /home/j/.npm/bin

*edit** - Sorry, I should have specified that the PATH variable part is line 23. And when I copied it for this post originally, it was late and i didn't realize it didn't paste the last part, the /home/j/.npm/bin part.

I remember updating the path variable based on something I read, (that is the path variable as I understand?) but since that folder no longer exists (rm'd all npm stuff), I'll need to change it again, and get rid of that last thing directing to /home/j/.npm/bin. I don't want to blind crack-hack anymore based on stuff I read. Plus I'm only just beginning to understand this.

Thanks anyone..? Perhaps directing to any info on the PATH and how to update/correct it?

  • ` /home/j/.profile: line 23: export: '/home/j/.npm/bin': not a valid identifier` you should look on line 23 to check the error
    – Maythux
    May 21, 2015 at 5:34
  • @maythux - thanks, I edited my comment on line 23. It was late and I didn't paste it correctly originally. See above. thx
    – gson78
    May 24, 2015 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


There's a stray space in this line:

export PATH=/usr.../games: /home/j/.npm/bin

See that space after the :? Remove it.

It would be better if you used instead:

export PATH="/home/j/.npm/bin:$PATH"

Your original line completely re-writes the PATH, ignoring modifications that may have been made elsewhere.

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