I have just installed MATE under Ubuntu Saucy. No problems. Except I am trying to setup Texmaker, the LaTeX IDE, and cannot figure out how to set the paths to the LaTeX tools (pdflatex, etc.) which Texmaker spawns.

Now I have used Texmaker for several years under Ubuntu Precise with Gnome fallback, and I know to set the path in ~/.gnomerc. But I cannot find the equivalent of ~/.gnomerc under Mate. (You would have thought .materc but it appears not.)

So how do I set environment variables under Mate?

  • Have you tried manually create $HOME/.gnomerc file and set your variables here? Previosly MATE have sourced that file just like GNOME. But I'm not sure if still works.
    – anlar
    Jan 19, 2014 at 13:00
  • 1
    Pardon my ignorance here if MATE for whatever visionary reason replaces or bypasses use of the shell, but can't these be set the normal way (.profile, .bashrc, etc.)?
    – goldilocks
    Jan 19, 2014 at 14:06
  • I'm with @goldilocks why don't you use the normal methods? Just add the relevant lines to your ~/.profile or ~/.bashrc. In any case, texmaker should not need any variables, you can just give it the full path to the commands you need it to find.
    – terdon
    Jan 19, 2014 at 14:42
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    Putting the environment variables in ~./bashrc does not work. Texmaker, which is a GUI program, is not descended from the bash shell but from the window manager(?). So the normal method will not work.
    – user57115
    Jan 20, 2014 at 19:03
  • I could add the full path to the commands. But I view this as a hack. Environment variables are provided for a very good purpose! What I am trying to do is possible under Gnome via ~/.gnomerc. What's the Mate equivalent given that it's fork of Gnome?
    – user57115
    Jan 20, 2014 at 19:07

3 Answers 3


I have (eventually) answered my own question! The solution is to add the export PATH = ... statement to a file (*.sh) in /etc/profile.d. This is executed when both the bash shell and window session manager start. And it applies for all users, unlike the .gnomerc solution in my original post.

See https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EnvironmentVariables for further details.


There is a generic place to add things like this: ~/.xsessionrc.

This is on Ubuntu Trusty 14.04:

$ grep -rs USERXSESSIONRC /etc/
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/40x11-common_xsessionrc:if [ -r "$USERXSESSIONRC" ]; then
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/40x11-common_xsessionrc:  . "$USERXSESSIONRC"

On Debian 8.7, modifying the path in /etc/profile does not work for Mate Desktop. The only thing I could get working, was to add this entry to /etc/security/pam_env.conf (in this case to add the TexLive binaries to PATH):

PATH DEFAULT=${HOME}/bin:/usr/local/bin:/bin\ :/usr/bin:/usr/local/texlive/2016/bin/x86_64-linux

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