I can open my terminal emulator via a keyboard shortcut or through the apps finder that executes the exo-open --launch TerminalEmulator command. My terminal starts and I can cd to any directory and execute any binaries located on any bin directory on my system.

But whenever I launch it by right-clicking any directory on thunar and using the Open terminal here option it sometimes can't find any executable on my local binaries directory (~/.local/bin/). Simply put:

  • Open terminal via app finder, command launcher, keyboard shortcut, … → It can find local executables.
  • Open terminal via context menu on Thunar → It sometimes can't find local executables.

This happens on any terminal (xfce4-terminal, xterm, gnome-terminal). My machine is running Fedora 20 XFCE with thunar version 1.6.3-2.

I can't say for sure since when this started happening, because it has been some time, but this became more frequent in recent days. Also, I have to mention that once my terminals can find executables on my local bin directory and I add a new one, it won't find them again, until some time passes - no matter if it was launched via the thunar's context menu or not.

Has anybody noticed this behaviour too? Can somebody shed some light on what's happening here?


I've noticed that my .bash_profile file is what adds my local bin directory to the $PATH environmental variable:

export PATH

And when I run a login shell (not started via the context menu), it executes .bashrc and then .bash_profile, so I proceeded to move those two lines from my .bash_profile to my .bashrc and now everything works fine.

So the question now is: why does the context menu command (which is the same as the normal command) somehow make my terminal to be launched as only interactive and not as a login terminal?

  • Have you checked the PATH variable has necessary bin paths ?
    – Tingrammer
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 7:04
  • @Tingrammer Sorry I forgot to add that, yes, the /home/user/.local/bin/ path is always present in the $PATH var.
    – arielnmz
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 7:28
  • @arielnmz - could you open your terminal via Thunar's context menu and then output here of the command echo $PATH? By default terminal opens in the home directory, so, for example, it probably would work if you put ./.local/bin instead of ~/.local/bin.
    – Wilf
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 8:41
  • You should never use relative paths in your $PATH statement. commands and scripts can change the working directory. Also $HOME is safer then ~.
    – coteyr
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 11:14
  • "So the question now is: why does the context menu command (which is the same as the normal command) somehow make my terminal to be launched as only interactive and not as a login terminal?" Add a new question for this.
    – coteyr
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


I would say your running into a good old classic fight. To ~/.bashrc or to ~/.profile

Checke your $PATH in both.

Read and understand https://stackoverflow.com/questions/415403/whats-the-difference-between-bashrc-bash-profile-and-environment It may answer your question.

Basically your logging in when your launch a terminal emulator, but not when you launch from thunar. This creates a different environment. There is no "right answer" to fix it, and it's a lot like vim or nano, but I usually just source a common file in ALL of them to setup my environments.

  • 1
    This is just a guess BTW but it seems right, please let us know what shell your using in each case, if this isn't it.
    – coteyr
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 11:19
  • I'm really sure this has to do something with my issue, but the strange part is that I can launch a working terminal with this command: exo-open --launch TerminalEmulator, and the context menu option just launches the same command: exo-open --launch TerminalEmulator --working-directory %f (with that extra param). Is thunar doing some strange thing that somehow makes the same command launch a non-login shell?
    – arielnmz
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 17:58

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