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I tried all methods I heard of for setting environment variables on OS X 10.8 but none of them seems to work.
To test, run a bash script from inside a gui application like Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA.
#!/bin/bash set|grep PATH
Things I tested and that are not working even after reboot:
~/.MacOSX/environment.plist(binary plist made as recommended)
launchctl setenv PATH $PATHfrom the command line, this was supposed to update the PATH for GUI apps, at least for current session. Guess what, no change.
It seems that PATH is always
PATH=/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin for GUI apps.