Change the location of the ~ directory in a Windows install of Git Bash

Issue

I am not even sure I am asking the right question. Let me explain my situation:

This is about Git on Windows 7.

My company sets up the Windows user directory on a network drive, not on the local hard drive (for backup and other purposes beyond the scope of this question). I cannot change that policy.

I CAN have local files outside of that scheme however and that is how my Apache server is set up. Entirely local.

I installed Git. It installs Bash. When I fire up Bash and cd ~ (change to the root directory) I find that it (the Bash root) points to my network user directory. I want it not to do that. I want ~ to be elsewhere on my hard drive. I want it so that when I perform other operations such as installing a certificate, an SSH key, etc. its defaults will not automatically use that network directory.

I have searched in vain everywhere, and all I can find refers to answers that involve aliases, redirection, and the location $HOME points to. But that is not what I want at all.

The question is: Can I change that directory? And if so: How?

UPDATE: So, $HOME is what I need to modify. However I have been unable to find where this mythical $HOME variable is set so I assumed it was a Linux system version of PATH or something. Anyway

I do have a “profile” file under git/etc. Here are the contents (notice no $HOME):

  # To the extent possible under law, the author(s) have dedicated all
  # copyright and related and neighboring rights to this software to the
  # public domain worldwide. This software is distributed without any warranty.
  # You should have received a copy of the CC0 Public Domain Dedication along
  # with this software.
  # If not, see <http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/>.


  # System-wide profile file

  # Some resources...
  # Customizing Your Shell: http://www.dsl.org/cookbook/cookbook_5.html#SEC69
  # Consistent BackSpace and Delete Configuration:
  #   http://www.ibb.net/~anne/keyboard.html
  # The Linux Documentation Project: http://www.tldp.org/
  # The Linux Cookbook: http://www.tldp.org/LDP/linuxcookbook/html/
  # Greg's Wiki http://mywiki.wooledge.org/

  # Setup some default paths. Note that this order will allow user installed
  # software to override 'system' software.
  # Modifying these default path settings can be done in different ways.
  # To learn more about startup files, refer to your shell's man page.

  MSYS2_PATH="/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin"
  MANPATH="/usr/local/man:/usr/share/man:/usr/man:/share/man:${MANPATH}"
  INFOPATH="/usr/local/info:/usr/share/info:/usr/info:/share/info:${INFOPATH}"
  MINGW_MOUNT_POINT=
  if [ -n "$MSYSTEM" ]
  then
    case "$MSYSTEM" in
      MINGW32)
        MINGW_MOUNT_POINT=/mingw32
        PATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/bin:${MSYS2_PATH}:${PATH}"
        PKG_CONFIG_PATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/lib/pkgconfig:${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/share/pkgconfig"
        ACLOCAL_PATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/share/aclocal:/usr/share/aclocal"
        MANPATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/share/man:${MANPATH}"
      ;;
      MINGW64)
        MINGW_MOUNT_POINT=/mingw64
        PATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/bin:${MSYS2_PATH}:${PATH}"
        PKG_CONFIG_PATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/lib/pkgconfig:${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/share/pkgconfig"
        ACLOCAL_PATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/share/aclocal:/usr/share/aclocal"
        MANPATH="${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/share/man:${MANPATH}"
      ;;
      MSYS)
        PATH="${MSYS2_PATH}:/opt/bin:${PATH}"
        PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/usr/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/share/pkgconfig:/lib/pkgconfig"
      ;;
      *)
        PATH="${MSYS2_PATH}:${PATH}"
      ;;
    esac
  else
    PATH="${MSYS2_PATH}:${PATH}"
  fi

  MAYBE_FIRST_START=false
  SYSCONFDIR="${SYSCONFDIR:=/etc}"

  # TMP and TEMP as defined in the Windows environment must be kept
  # for windows apps, even if started from msys2. However, leaving
  # them set to the default Windows temporary directory or unset
  # can have unexpected consequences for msys2 apps, so we define
  # our own to match GNU/Linux behaviour.
  ORIGINAL_TMP=$TMP
  ORIGINAL_TEMP=$TEMP
  #unset TMP TEMP
  #tmp=$(cygpath -w "$ORIGINAL_TMP" 2> /dev/null)
  #temp=$(cygpath -w "$ORIGINAL_TEMP" 2> /dev/null)
  #TMP="/tmp"
  #TEMP="/tmp"
  case "$TMP" in *\\*) TMP="$(cygpath -m "$TMP")";; esac
  case "$TEMP" in *\\*) TEMP="$(cygpath -m "$TEMP")";; esac
  test -d "$TMPDIR" || test ! -d "$TMP" || {
    TMPDIR="$TMP"
    export TMPDIR
  }


  # Define default printer
  p='/proc/registry/HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/Windows/Device'
  if [ -e "${p}" ] ; then
    read -r PRINTER < "${p}"
    PRINTER=${PRINTER%%,*}
  fi
  unset p

  print_flags ()
  {
    (( $1 & 0x0002 )) && echo -n "binary" || echo -n "text"
    (( $1 & 0x0010 )) && echo -n ",exec"
    (( $1 & 0x0040 )) && echo -n ",cygexec"
    (( $1 & 0x0100 )) && echo -n ",notexec"
  }

  # Shell dependent settings
  profile_d ()
  {
    local file=
    for file in $(export LC_COLLATE=C; echo /etc/profile.d/*.$1); do
      [ -e "${file}" ] && . "${file}"
    done

    if [ -n ${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT} ]; then
      for file in $(export LC_COLLATE=C; echo ${MINGW_MOUNT_POINT}/etc/profile.d/*.$1); do
        [ -e "${file}" ] && . "${file}"
      done
    fi
  }

  for postinst in $(export LC_COLLATE=C; echo /etc/post-install/*.post); do
    [ -e "${postinst}" ] && . "${postinst}"
  done

  if [ ! "x${BASH_VERSION}" = "x" ]; then
    HOSTNAME="$(/usr/bin/hostname)"
    profile_d sh
    [ -f "/etc/bash.bashrc" ] && . "/etc/bash.bashrc"
  elif [ ! "x${KSH_VERSION}" = "x" ]; then
    typeset -l HOSTNAME="$(/usr/bin/hostname)"
    profile_d sh
    PS1=$(print '\033]0;${PWD}\n\033[32m${USER}@${HOSTNAME} \033[33m${PWD/${HOME}/~}\033[0m\n$ ')
  elif [ ! "x${ZSH_VERSION}" = "x" ]; then
    HOSTNAME="$(/usr/bin/hostname)"
    profile_d zsh
    PS1='(%[email protected]%m)[%h] %~ %% '
  elif [ ! "x${POSH_VERSION}" = "x" ]; then
    HOSTNAME="$(/usr/bin/hostname)"
    PS1="$ "
  else
    HOSTNAME="$(/usr/bin/hostname)"
    profile_d sh
    PS1="$ "
  fi

  if [ -n "$ACLOCAL_PATH" ]
  then
    export ACLOCAL_PATH
  fi

  export PATH MANPATH INFOPATH PKG_CONFIG_PATH USER TMP TEMP PRINTER HOSTNAME PS1 SHELL tmp temp
  test -n "$TERM" || export TERM=xterm-256color

  if [ "$MAYBE_FIRST_START" = "true" ]; then
    sh /usr/bin/regen-info.sh

    if [ -f "/usr/bin/update-ca-trust" ]
    then
      sh /usr/bin/update-ca-trust
    fi

    clear
    echo
    echo
    echo "###################################################################"
    echo "#                                                                 #"
    echo "#                                                                 #"
    echo "#                   C   A   U   T   I   O   N                     #"
    echo "#                                                                 #"
    echo "#                  This is first start of MSYS2.                  #"
    echo "#       You MUST restart shell to apply necessary actions.        #"
    echo "#                                                                 #"
    echo "#                                                                 #"
    echo "###################################################################"
    echo
    echo
  fi
  unset MAYBE_FIRST_START

Solution

I don’t understand, why you don’t want to set the $HOME environment variable since that solves exactly what you’re asking for.

cd ~ doesn’t mean change to the root directory, but change to the user’s home directory, which is set by the $HOME environment variable.

Quick’n’dirty solution

Edit C:\Program Files (x86)\Git\etc\profile and set $HOME variable to whatever you want (add it if it’s not there). A good place could be for example right after a condition commented by # Set up USER's home directory. It must be in the MinGW format, for example:

HOME=/c/my/custom/home

Save it, open Git Bash and execute cd ~. You should be in a directory /c/my/custom/home now.

Everything that accesses the user’s profile should go into this directory instead of your Windows’ profile on a network drive.

Note: C:\Program Files (x86)\Git\etc\profile is shared by all users, so if the machine is used by multiple users, it’s a good idea to set the $HOME dynamically:

HOME=/c/Users/$USERNAME

Cleaner solution

Set the environment variable HOME in Windows to whatever directory you want. In this case, you have to set it in Windows path format (with backslashes, e.g. c:\my\custom\home), Git Bash will load it and convert it to its format.

If you want to change the home directory for all users on your machine, set it as a system environment variable, where you can use for example %USERNAME% variable so every user will have his own home directory, for example:

HOME=c:\custom\home\%USERNAME%

If you want to change the home directory just for yourself, set it as a user environment variable, so other users won’t be affected. In this case, you can simply hard-code the whole path:

HOME=c:\my\custom\home

Answered By – David Ferenczy Rogo┼żan

This Answer collected from stackoverflow, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published