I have some php packages installed globally using php composer within a script

sudo -u me composer global require "phpmd/phpmd"

I want to find the path of these globally installed php packages. When I run which phpmd as user me I get the full path.


However when I try and run the command as sudo I get nothing. I think this is because composer has been added globally and is in my user mes PATH while it is not present in sudo's PATH.

Instead I have tried

 path="$(sudo -u me which phpcs)"

But this also fails. However it succeeds for any program not installed through composer. How can I find the globally installed php packages through composer as sudo?

me's path


sudo (su's) path

  • To troubleshoot, please show me's and root's path. That's probably where the problem is. May 3, 2016 at 16:33
  • updated the question @JuliePelletier
    – myol
    May 3, 2016 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


The problem, as you can notice in the path difference, is that me's path includes /home/me/.composer/vendor/bin. Sudo does not inherit the user's environment.

You would need to manually import it. It's unclear why you'd want root to see a specific user's files in its path though.

To find a file, you can use the find command such as find /home -name FileName.

  • Manually import the composer path?
    – myol
    May 3, 2016 at 16:49

Thanks to Julie's suggestion and some other answers on SO I came up with

 path="$(PATH=$PATH:/home/me/.composer/vendor/bin which phpcs)"

which works nicely

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