Permanently adding to the Python path in Ubuntu

Chris Colbert sccolbert at
Sun Aug 30 02:39:31 CEST 2009

I'm having an issue with sys.path on Ubuntu. I want some of my home
built packages to overshadow the system packages. Namely, I have built
numpy 1.3.0 from source with atlas support, and I need it to
overshadow the system numpy 1.2.1 which I had to drag along as a
dependency for other stuff. I have numpy 1.3.0 installed into
/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/. The issue is that this
directory is added to the path after the
/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/ is added, so python doesnt see my
version of numpy.

I have been combating this with a line in my .bashrc file:

export PYTHONPATH=/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages

So when I start python from the shell, everything works fine.

Problems show up when python is not executed from the shell, and thus
the path variable is never exported. This can occur when I have
launcher in the gnome panel or i'm executing from within wing-ide.

Is there a way to fix this so that the local dist-packages is added to
sys.path before the system directory ALWAYS? I can do this by editing but I think it's kind of bad form to do it this way. I feel
there has to be a way to do this without root privileges.

Any ideas?



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