Developer's Diary
Daily software development, with Terry Ebdon
Splitting the windows path

Monday 10th July, 2017

Splitting the windows path

You can examine the windows path, from the command line, using the path command or by examining the path variable, via set path. Both methods display the path as a single, very long, line with path elements separated by semicolons. This is rarely how I'd like to view it. It would be more useful to see each item on its own line. It's possible to see this in a GUI, e.g. via Windows+Pause / Advanced System Settings / Environment variables. But that's really not what I want.

Splitting with Groovy

Groovy can be used to split the line, like so:

e:\test>path | groovy -n -e "line.split(';').each {println it-'PATH='}"

Note the use of `-'PATH=''`, to discard the prefix that would otherwise appear on the first line.

Useful output

On this machine the above command displays this:

E:\test>path | groovy -n -e "line.split(';').each {println it-'PATH='}"
C:\Perl64\site\bin
C:\Perl64\bin
C:\WINDOWS\system32
C:\WINDOWS
C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem
C:\WINDOWS\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\
C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_92\jre\bin
C:\portable\groovy-2.4.7\bin
C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\
c:\texlive\bin\win32
E:\Program Files (x86)\Graphviz2.38\bin\
C:\Program Files\TortoiseHg\
C:\Users\Terry\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps
C:\Users\Terry\AppData\Local\atom\bin
C:\Users\Terry\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps
e:\cygwin64\bin

E:\test>

That's much more useful. e.g. I can instantly spot that Skype's on the path, and wonder why. It's not a simple command to type though. I've now pasted it into a .cmd file, and placed it on the path:

2017-07-10-gpath.png

Note the @ prefix. This prevents the line from being echoed to the screen. It's the equivalent of echo off, but only acts on the current line.


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