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I recently tried to install CoffeeScript on my mac and now am unable to use even the most basic of commands like ls, cd and so on. Something tells me that it's because the $PATH variable has changed. I remember having to do that when I tried to make the installation. I tried following the instructions found here, but it doesn't work because the vi command isn't found.

Upon entering echo $PATH in the terminal, it reads /usr/local/bin:

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cd is a shell built-in. Nothing you do to $PATH should be able to break it, so quite possibly you've done something much worse to your machine. –  Wooble Apr 24 '14 at 17:01
It is odd that echo works but cd and ls do not. Try opening Terminal preferences and making a new profile. Then make it run bash --noprofile and uncheck "Run in shell" (I think the options for this are in the Advanced tab). Also see if type or which work. –  0942v8653 Apr 24 '14 at 22:05

2 Answers 2

To reset your path, remove the line that sets the path from your ~/.bash_profile or equivalent, then reopen your Terminal.

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It sounds like you removed or didn't configure your PATH environment variable correctly. Try removing that line from ~/.bash_profile then open a new terminal window and verify that your paths are set correctly.

You don't have to use a command line text editor, you can use BareBones Software's excellent and free TextWrangler. This should reduce errors trying to figure out how vi works.

If you do not want to install another app, vi is located at /usr/bin/vi. For command line editors I would recommend pico over vi /usr/bin/pico which is much more user friendly than vi or emacs, but is clunky when compared to TextWrangler. Pico puts all of the relevant commands at the bottom of the editing window.

Good Luck!

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You can use TextEdit.app which is part of OSX no need for TextWramgler –  Mark May 6 '14 at 22:53

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