View Full Version : [SOLVED] What does this command mean?

Vignesh S
January 30th, 2010, 02:03 AM
Right, I was getting around downloading the source tree for Android-x86, and while I was doing so, I had to use this command:

echo $PATH

My two questions are:
1. What does the above command mean?
2. What exactly is the PATH?

January 30th, 2010, 02:06 AM
that command should print on terminal the path where you are; path is well... the path you are... like /home/username

"Echo's to the screen what you type after echo. Echo is useful for producing diagnostics in command files, for sending known data into a pipe, and for displaying the contents of environment variables." from: http://www.computerhope.com/unix/uecho.htm

January 30th, 2010, 02:07 AM
$PATH is a value which holds all the places that your shell should look in for executable files. /bin, /usr/bin/, etc.

So 'echo $PATH' simply echoes the value of $PATH back at you

January 30th, 2010, 02:07 AM
It should just display the default location of all of your binaries. For example if in a terminal you type:


it will run "lspci". lspci is in /usr/bin. The reason you didn't have to type the full path is because "lspci" is in you path.

January 30th, 2010, 02:08 AM
The echo command displays whatever you type after it. If you put a $ that will make it display whatever result of the command you type after it. As for PATH I don't know, I tried it in my terminal and it just displays a bunch of (what I think) are random paths. I don't know where they lead.

January 30th, 2010, 02:08 AM
echo prints out a string or the contents of a variable.

$PATH is a bash/sh environment variable that contains the directory path to programs so you can just call them by their names (e.g., firefox) rather than their full directory paths (e.g., /usr/bin/firefox). Since /usr/bin is in the $PATH, you can just type "firefox" to call up the program.

Vignesh S
February 5th, 2010, 06:03 AM
Thanks everyone :)