Windows & Git Bash: Bash PATH to read Windows %PATH% system variable


I've recently added a directory to the Windows PATH manually by going into Control Panel -> System -> Advanced system settings -> Environment Variables -> User variables -> PATH. (Windows 7, 64-bit.)

After rebooting and starting cmd.exe, echo %PATH% indicates that this worked: I see the directory I recently added in the output.

However, after starting Git Bash, the output of echo $PATH doesn't include this directory.

I could add export PATH=$PATH:/c/my/path in my bashrc but I'd rather Git Bash just get PATH from Windows so I don't have to remember to add paths to two places. How can this be accomplished?

(A more general related question is, what sets up Git Bash's $PATH? I see a couple of entries repeated in different places, some things that are in Windows %PATH% are in Git Bash's $PATH but not others. What all happens before I get the Git Bash prompt that touches $PATH?)

Best Answer

An msysgit git bash session uses the script share/WinGit/Git Bash.vbs, which doesn't access or modify the environment variable PATH (like it would in this unrelated vbs script, for instance)

A git bash session will simply add in front of your current PATH:


It is possible that the mingw session packaged with msysgit won't consider a bin from another mingw installation: you can check it by setting another (simpler) directory to your PATH and see if it is still visible in your git bash session. If not, then it is a more general issue which concerns all directories that you would add to the PATH.