The PATH environment variable

[You can skip this section if you use a package manager like MacPorts to install LilyPond; PATH should already be set up correctly.]

Throughout the LilyPond manuals, examples simply show lilypond as the program to call. However, this only works if the PATH environment variable is adjusted so that LilyPond’s binary directory is included.

Assuming that you have unpacked a LilyPond binary package for version 2.25.17 within a directory /home/me, the binary directory to be added to PATH is


On Windows, a typical directory might be


Please consult the documentation for your operating system (or do a search in the internet) how to actually modify PATH. In case you are updating from an older LilyPond version you should ensure that the old LilyPond binary directory is removed from PATH; after everything is done you can check with a call to lilypond --version whether the correct version gets found on the command line.

If, for whatever reason, adjusting PATH is not possible or appropriate, or if you have multiple LilyPond versions installed in parallel, use the full path to the binary, for example


LilyPond Application Usage v2.25.17 (development-branch).