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For instance, suppose I want to modify my PATH variable in my .emacs file. What is the best way to do this? Should I call setenv? Is there a variable I can customize? Should I call a shell script

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You got it right:

(setenv "PATH" "some;/path/that/you/want;/really/this/is/the/path")

The bigger question is, why do you want the path to be different just inside Emacs? Is it to tell Emacs to find the appropriate applications for ispell or shell? There are more straight forward ways to solve those problems.

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I actually want to control which Python pymacs runs under. It would really be cool to be able to run a virtualenv for that. –  Jason Baker Nov 17 '09 at 14:46
    
One thing to note: in the above example, PATH should be in double quotes. –  Jason Baker Nov 17 '09 at 15:09

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