I'm a mac noob, and a terminal noob.

I'm used to installing things in Windows, and now I'm trying to set up Eclipse with the Android SDK on Mac and I'm having some trouble.

I downloaded Eclipse and stuck it in a folder I called Android, then downloaded the Android SDK and stuck it in that folder as well. The next step of these instructions says this:

Update your PATH environment variable to know about the Android tools. There are different ways of setting your default PATH variable. I use ~/.bash_login but ~/.bash_profile also works. The Android tools are in the tools directory of the Android SDK. So this is what I added to .bash_login: export PATH=$PATH:/Android/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools

I have absolutely no idea what any of that means. Can someone help to dumb it down a little for me? That instruction presupposes way too much Mac/unix knowledge on my part.


1 Answer 1


The PATH environment variable is simply an order list of directories over which (typically) executables are searched for and run. In short, to get you through the setup you'll need to edit /Users/<username/.bash_profile to include

export PATH=$PATH:/Android/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools

This is the most painless way to do that. Note, this assumes that you have the same SDK install path. Modify the text to suit otherwise.

  1. Open up a Terminal window (don't cringe). Use Spotlight ( SPC ) and start typing "terminal". Hit return when you see it highlighted.
  2. Copy and paste the following into the terminal window that opens up and hit enter.

echo 'export PATH=$PATH:/Android/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools' >> ~/.bash_profile

That's it. If you already have a .bash_profile, this will add that line to the end of the file. If you don't already have one, it will create one for you.

  • However this does not work for GUI apps
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 3, 2014 at 11:33

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