How to add the the dmenu Path? This article explains how to add to the $PATH variable seen by dmenu.

This guide is for Manjaro/Arch Linux. I use Xorg and i3 so mileage may vary. This was testing with two desktop managers, simpledm and SDDM.

The Issue: adding to the dmenu path

Dmenu does not display scripts from a new location added to the $PATH.

I added a new location to my $PATH via my .bashrc. I could call these scripts perfectly fine from the terminal but when using dmenu these scripts couldn’t be called.

Troubleshooting Steps

First try clearing the dmenu cache. If the session hasn’t been restarted or re-logged this may be needed.

rm ~/.cache/dmenu_run
rm ~/.dmenu_cache

If that didn’t work, check exactly what dmenu sees in $PATH. Run the following command inside dmenu:

 echo $PATH > /tmp/path 

Then from a terminal run:

cat /tmp/path

If the new path is not in the output then that is the issue. Dmenu is not pickup up the addition to the path made in the ~/.bashrc or wherever this new item in the $PATH has been defined. For more details on this reference this stack overflow thread.

The Fix

Add the new $PATH location to /etc/profile

Example /etc/profile with 2 new locations added to the $PATH

# /etc/profile

# Append our default paths
appendpath () {
    case ":$PATH:" in

appendpath '/usr/local/sbin'
appendpath '/usr/local/bin'
appendpath '/usr/bin'
appendpath '/home/chart/GitHubPersonal/utilities/bin'
appendpath '/home/chart/bin'

Next, either relog or reboot.
Finally, clear the dmenu cahce again with: rm ~/.dmenu_cache; rm ~/.cache/dmenu_run

A non comprehensive list of locations where the $PATH maybe be set which I tested

  • ~/.bashrc

    • Will not get picked up by dmenu
  • ~/.bash_profile

    • Will not get picked up by dmenu
  • /etc/profile

    • Will get picked up by dmenu
  • /usr/lib/sddm/sddm.conf.d/default.conf

    • Only when using sddm desktop manager

    • Will get picked up by dmenu