Permanently adding to the Python path in Ubuntu

Chris Colbert sccolbert at
Sun Aug 30 18:07:58 CEST 2009

I don't want to have to modify the path in each and every application.

There has to be a way to do this...

Personally, I don't agree with the Debian maintainers in the order
they import anyway; it should be simple for me to overshadow system
packagers. But that's another story.

P.S. my first name is Steven!



On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 11:51 PM, Sean DiZazzo<half.italian at> wrote:
> On Aug 29, 5:39 pm, Chris Colbert <sccolb... at> wrote:
>> 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?
>> Cheers,
>> Chris
> I think you can modify sys.path inside your application.
> Maybe this will work (at the top of your script):
> import sys
> sys.path[0] = "/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages"
> import numpy
> PS.  Say hi to Steven for me!
> ~Sean
> --

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