I'm using a clean install of 10.8. I wanted to add a couple of directories to my path. I tried adding them to /etc/paths using

sudo vim /etc/paths

Now when I open a terminal window I see this:

Last login: Wed Jan 23 15:42:57 on ttys001
/etc/paths: Permission denied
pcp067952pcs:~ myLoginName$

This doesn't affect usability, however it is something I would prefer to fix.

Any ideas? -Austin

  • 2
    I believe you changed the permissions by editing the path with root privileges. My privileges for that file are -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 105 Jun 26 2012 /etc/paths I hope this helps. Good luck. Jan 23, 2013 at 23:59
  • 2
    Check by seeing what ls -l /etc/paths gives
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 24, 2013 at 0:34
  • oh! yeah i totally messed that up. i think i chmodded it to 0400. mine says -r-------- 1 root wheel 45 Jan 23 15:43 /etc/paths.
    – austin
    Jan 24, 2013 at 4:31

1 Answer 1


solved by repairing permissions, thanks to jakebird451 and Mark in the comments above

i'm not sure is sudo is necessary, however this worked to fix it

sudo chmod 0644 /etc/paths


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