Richard L. Hamilton rlhamil at smart.net
Sun Feb 8 02:10:38 PST 2015

On Feb 7, 2015, at 4:01 AM, Luc Bourhis <luc_j_bourhis at mac.com> wrote:

>>> (1) We consider /etc/paths to be a "system file". We don't like modifying system files.
>>> (2) Modifying /etc/paths affects all users' settings, which is undesirable.
>> Actually it is desirable, or it has at least been desired by some users, e.g.:
>> https://trac.macports.org/ticket/36323
> Note that it was suggested in this discussion you linked to add files in /etc/paths.d but that would not do what many users want because the paths listed in  /etc/paths are put first in PATH and then those from  /etc/paths.d are appended. Since  /etc/paths lists /bin, /user/bin, etc by default, Macports paths would not override system ones. I like it the other way around and I am not the only one I think.
> I am happy to see that my initial noise led to informative a discussion after all ;-)
> And then there the orthogonal issue of Apps launched from the Finder which get PATH from launchd and for which neither path_helper nor shell startup files help. Once upon a time, I hacked a solution with a daemon watching .bashrc and friends to keep the PATH of the shell and that of launchd in synch but eventually I gave up and just launched the PATH-sensitive Apps with "open" from the Terminal.

~/.launchd.conf (or /etc/launchd.conf systemwide) can provide ways to set the PATH for the per-user launchd instances.  See launchctl man page for the latter - basically a setenv key value    launchctl command.  There also used to be ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist, (see https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/MacOSX/Conceptual/BPRuntimeConfig/Articles/EnvironmentVars.html ), but reports suggest that’s no longer used since Lion (or possibly Mountain Lion).

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