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I have two programs named abc in different directories (/dir1/ and /dir2/). Each of these directories contains other programs. In general, I would like dir1 to be searched for a command before dir2. However, in the case of abc I would like the version in dir2 to be executed by default. How can I make this happen?

I tried aliasing via alias abc="/dir2/abc" however that doesn't work if the command is invoked by another program. How can I make it be the default anytime somebody attempts to invoke abc?

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This has been answered on a different stackexchange site. Here is the solution for anyone that is interested:

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/228701/change-the-default-directory-of-one-specific-program-without-changing-its-path

Here is the option that works for me (quoted from the answer):

Option 1: Make an override folder on your path

If you need these programs to be called in indirect ways (like by some application started by the window manager will call g++ or python, for instance), you should edit your path. You could simply add a new folder to the beginning of your path in your ~/.bashrc:

export PATH=/home/username/.bin:$PATH and place two symbolic links to point to the appropriate programs:

ln -s /usr/bin/python /home/username/.bin/python ln -s /usr/local/bin/g++ /home/username/.bin/g++ That way, once your ~/.bashrc is properly sourced (log out, then log back in), everything should find the right python and the right g++.

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  • Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 10 '16 at 10:25

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