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I recently purged my display manager in favor of starting xsessions with startx. I did this after setting up a new installation of ubuntu 18.04.

Up to now I was used to use ~/.pam_environment to set up environment variables for a user. For example I add my ~/bin path to PATH like this:

PATH    DEFAULT=${PATH}:${HOME}/bin

In the new system this doesn't seem to be recognized anymore. So what would the best place to define user specific environment variables?

My startx setup works like this:

Using zsh as login-shell, my ~/.zlogin file contains something like:

if [ $(tty) = "/dev/tty3" ]; then
    exec startx -- :3 vt3 &>/dev/null
    logout
fi

And ~/.xinitrc something like:

xsetroot -cursor_name arrow
exec xmonad
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Since you are using zsh on ubuntu the ~/.zshenv is the correct place for exported variables like $PATH, $EDITOR, ... (This doesn't work on Arch linux)

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