I'm trying to compile code and in order to get it to work I need to run the following line before compilation:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig

After this the code compiles normally, I'm trying to add this so that I do not need to run this line each time when I restart my PC. I've tried adding that line to the .bashrc file (does the file path needs quotes?) which has not seemed to work. I have also tried creating a .bash_profile file an adding the line in there but again this does not seem to work.

Whenever I try to compile after adding the .bash_profile I am getting the following error:

./makeScript: line 1: pkg-config: command not found


2 Answers 2


It should work if you added it into ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile.

If this won't work, make sure your script actually uses bash shell (shebang), as if you're using different shell, possibly it won't be loaded.

However I think your problem is not related to PKG_CONFIG_PATH, but PATH variable which doesn't contain the right directory where pkg-config executable binary is present.

Check by:

$ which pkg-config

If you can't find it, make sure you've installed it and linked it, e.g. using Homebrew:

brew install pkg-config; brew link pkg-config

And your /usr/local/bin is in your PATH, e.g.

export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:$PATH

As a side note, you can check your export variables by running set command just before the link which fails.

Another thing to track the problem is to debug your scripts by running like: bash -x ./makeScript or adding -x at the end of your shebang (e.g. #!/bin/bash -x).


Take ~/.profile:

$ cat >> ~/.profile << EOF
> PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig

Load changes (if you do not want to reboot):

$ source ~/.profile


  • That resulted in the error pkg-config: command not found when I tried to compile.
    – Colin747
    Oct 8, 2015 at 10:35
  • Maybe typing mistakes? You have once hyphens and once none Oct 8, 2015 at 10:36
  • echo $PKG_CONFIG_PATH results in /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig, does that look correct?
    – Colin747
    Oct 8, 2015 at 10:38
  • Yes when its the normal command for your configuration. if pkgconfig doesn't exist at all, the answer is useless. In oyur script you seem to call pkg-config although your variable navigates to pkgconfig ; missing hyphen Oct 8, 2015 at 10:44
  • I added in the hyphen and got the error pkg-config: command not found. echo $PKG_CONFIG_PATH /usr/local/lib/pkg-config.
    – Colin747
    Oct 8, 2015 at 10:47

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