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How to set path for dmenu_run with Debian standard i3 startup

asked 2015-11-01 21:24:14 +0000

Felicitus gravatar image

updated 2015-11-01 21:24:50 +0000

I'm using a standard debian system with xdm and i3. The stock startup procedure for Xsessions on Debian is that if no ~/.xsessionrc or ~/.xsession exists, it should use x-window-managerwhich debian symlinks to i3.

The relevant lines in /etc/X11/Xsession.d/50x11-common_determine-startup are:

# If there is still nothing to use for a startup program, try the system
# default session manager, window manager, and terminal emulator.
if [ -z "$STARTUP" ]; then
  if [ -x /usr/bin/x-session-manager ]; then
  elif [ -x /usr/bin/x-window-manager ]; then
  elif [ -x /usr/bin/x-terminal-emulator ]; then


I wish to add ~/bin to my PATH. Of course, adding the PATH to my .profile or .zshrc files doesn't work since no shell is executed during the X session startup.

Is there a way to define the PATH without introducing any kind of custom startup file like .xsessionrc?

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answered 2015-11-10 13:55:08 +0000

peterN gravatar image

Not sure for xdm but lightdm does allow you to pick/set a session based on *.desktop files (see /usr/share/xsessions/i3.desktop for an example). You can as well set your own/custom *.desktop file, where you could set a PATH environment.

Why do you need to add ~/bin to your PATH?

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Asked: 2015-11-01 21:24:14 +0000

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Last updated: Nov 10