I reinstalled mountain lion recently and had to reset my git path. Everything was working fine until I realised I had to do it for every project so I tried to change the default system path by sudo bash -c '( echo /usr/local/git/bin > /etc/paths.d/git )'

Apparently I should have left it alone as I don't really know what I'm doing. My command prompt is now unknown-00-26-bb-0e-a8-1f:~ mantismamita$ (mantismamita is my username so that part is normal) and I have lost access to my aliases located in .bash_profile I'm also back to square one with my original problem as my git path is no longer correct. I should mention that I'm at a different IP address as I'm on holiday so that may have influenced the prompt.

I would be eternally grateful if someone could help me get out of this muddle.

  • 1
    You need to restore /etc/paths.d/git from a backup or update OSX from the combo update as you have overwritten the Apple supplied file. The command should have had >> rather than >
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 4, 2013 at 10:16
  • so I could just run the combo update here : support.apple.com/kb/dl1659 ? Or would I have to do something to restore the original path?
    – mantis
    Aug 4, 2013 at 12:48
  • 1
    There is no /etc/paths.d/git on a plain installation so > or >> doesn't matter. I'm quite sure that the problem doesn't relate to the git path thing. Do you have network environments defined in Preferences?
    – nohillside
    Aug 4, 2013 at 12:52
  • no, the network I'm on is listed under system preferences but I haven't done anything to define it. Then again, I never had problems with my aliases other times I switched networks.
    – mantis
    Aug 4, 2013 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


I think these are not related. What you're seeing is the default bash prompt, which is defined in /etc/bashrc:

$ grep PS1=  /etc/bashrc
PS1='\h:\W \u\$ '

From the bash man page:

 \h     the hostname up to the first `.'
 \u     the username of the current user
 \W     the basename of the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde

What's happened is that your hostname is not being set correctly. It related to your network settings. It was discussed on superuser: https://superuser.com/questions/318509/hostname-issue-in-mac-os-x-lion

And on the /etc/paths.d/git file, what you did is correct. If you have git installed in /usr/local/git/bin, then the install usually creates that file for you. But the contents are trivial, so you can create it yourself. It should have a single line, containing the path to the bin directory you want added to PATH for all users:

$ ls -l /etc/paths.d/git
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  19 Sep 17  2009 /etc/paths.d/git
$ od -ta /etc/paths.d/git
0000000    /   u   s   r   /   l   o   c   a   l   /   g   i   t   /   b
0000020    i   n  nl
$ wc -l /etc/paths.d/git
   1 /etc/paths.d/git
$ cat /etc/paths.d/git
  • Thanks Tim, I've changed networks again as I'm visiting some friends but everything seems to be back in working order.
    – mantis
    Aug 5, 2013 at 23:36

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