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$PATH environment variable for apache2 on mac

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment


I am trying to get apache/php to recognize the path to my git. I have been researching and looking in all corners of the web and cannot find how to do this. Basically, no matter what I try, when I run echo phpinfo(); the Apache Environment path does not change from /usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin. And when I run system('echo $PATH'); in PHP, it reads the same.

System Information:

  • Mac OSX (Lion)
  • Apache 2 (running as _www)
  • PHP 5.3.6

Here is what I have tried editing so far:

  • /etc/profile
  • ~/.bash_profile
  • ~/.profile
  • /etc/path
  • /etc/path.d/{NEW_FILE}

Nothing I have tried so far has changed the $PATH variable. Any ideas?


So here is the final solution. I edited the


and added


You can set the PATH environment variable in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist.

More in the docs.


Did you update the PATH environment variable of user ‘_www’? Apache will read environment variables from the user runs itself. Or, it looks like you didn’t restart apache after updating PATH environment variable.

And if you want to modify environment variable in PHP, getenv() and putenv() can be a better choice.


Important note for El Capitan (Apologies for the new answer – I don’t have enough Rep to comment)

On OSX 10.11, the /System/Library folder is protected, so the files can’t be edited.

You need to:

  • Reboot into Recovery Mode (hold CMD + r after the startup sound)
  • Once in recovery mode, go to Utilities > Terminal
  • Run:
    csrutil disable
  • Reboot back into OSX – you should now be able to change the files
  • Once done, go back to recovery mode and run
    csrutil enable

Hope that helps


for ubuntu server, in /etc/apache2/envvars,
for centos server, in /etc/sysconfig/httpd,
to add:

export PATH=<your php cli path>

and restart apache


A similar problem to what I was having installing Derby. The way I solved it was by opening TextEdit. Select File > Open at this point press Shift + Command + . , this will allow you to view all the documents. Head to the user directory and search for a file called “.profile” . Open it and add the export VARIABLE= Value line for example:

export DERBY_HOME=/opt/local/share/java/derby/

Save the document and restart your terminal to see if the changes went into affect.


I created this gist that helped me out from the information above:


My problem was that PHP was not finding a program that we had installed under /usr/local/bin. Once we did the above it all worked and played nice on mac osx.