Unique Paths between RStudio Notebook and (RStudio) Terminal

I have greatly enjoyed how easy it is to switch between bash and r commands while using Rstudio Notebook/RMarkdown.

However I have struggled because the path that is searched when I run a bash command from inside a Rstudio Notebook

echo $PATH

Is different than my path when I execute a command from the terminal (whether inside Rstudio or directly from my computer).

echo $PATH

Can someone please point me to a reference where I can learn how the path for Rstudio Notebook is created and where I can edit it.


This is a problem, and I'm hoping for an answer myself. Just posted a similar question.

I believe the issue here is that bash chunks are not run as though the bash shell is a login shell, so init scripts are not sourced. This implies any custom settings for the PATH are not set in these chunks.

1 Like

Thanks @kevinushey! Do you have any suggestions on how to best modify the PATH accessible via a bash command through RMarkdown so it is permanently updated?

For example, if I run the following in a single RMarkdown code block my $PATH is correctly appended with the new location.

# path updated
echo $PATH
export PATH=$PATH:/Users/botwing/my_new_path
echo $PATH

But if I try to run the following in two RMarkdown code-blocks, my $PATH is not updated.

echo $PATH
export PATH=$PATH:/Users/botwing/my_new_path


# not updated  
echo $PATH

Any ideas on how to permanently, or at least per RStudio session, to modify the accessible $PATH?


I think you can use engine.opts to force the shell to behave like a login shell, e.g.

```{bash, engine.opts='-l'}
echo hello

I'm not sure if there's a way to set this option more globally, though. (You could perhaps define your own custom bash engine chunk that enforces -l or similar?)


Thanks @kevinushey! That solves my problem and is easy to add to my bash blocks! Appreciate your help.