How to set environment variables on Mac OS X

In Mac OS X, you can set the environment variables in one of the following files :

  1. ~/.bashrc
  2. ~/.bash_profile
  3. ~/.profile

By default, Mac OS X does not has above files, you need to create it manually.

$PATH example

This example shows you how to set “mongodb/bin” folder to the existing $PATH environment variable.

$ echo $PATH
$ mongo -version
-bash: mongo: command not found
$cd ~
$touch .bash_profile
$vim .bash_profile
export MONGO_PATH=~/mongodb
##restart your terminal
$ mongo -version
MongoDB shell version: 2.0.7
$ echo $PATH


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  • Altaf

    Could you also show detail steps of how to configure JAVA_HOME in Mac OS?

    • CrizZ

      That’s almost the same. Just name your environment variable JAVA_HOME and get the path to your java directory:

      export JAVA_HOME=/path/to/java
      export PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME

      • Kirk True

        Probably should be:

        export PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin

        • Kirk True


          export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home`