Atom command not found



Im currently on MacOS ( version 10.12.1 ) and i’ve encountered a problem with the ‘atom’ command in my terminal. Suddenly my terminal could find the command.

I checked my $PATH to see if it changed, ‘/usr/local/bin’ was in it, as well as a symlink for atom. When i tried to see the original file for the symlink the OS prompted me with an error that the symlink was broken. (Note that I hadn’t changed anything that could trigger this problem).

After restarting my terminal emulator ( iTerm + Zsh shell ) and Atom as well the problem still encountered. A couple minutes later everything worked again.

Practically i did nothing, I haven’t changed my $PATH, I haven’t changed ~/.zshrc, I haven’t changed my symlink, only restarted both iTerm and Atom.

Luckily everything works again but I’m just curious for why this problem happened.
Does anyone have an idea?


Told it wrong in my question, the symlink for atom was in ‘usr/local/bin’ not in $PATH.


Atom assumes that /usr/local/bin is going to be in your PATH. If it isn’t, then the shell commands won’t work without some extra effort on your part.


Been having the same issue on a clean install on 10.12. When I check the symlinks, they are present and are in the path. However, the symlinks that Atom generates point to


as the base path for the apm and atom commands. If I delete and set them to be for the copy in the Applications folder, Atom tells me it needs to install newer versions and overwrites them to a path similar to above.

After further investigation, this appears to be a security feature in 10.12 and is quarantining Atom. Removing the following attribute solved the issue.

xattr -dr /Applications/

Although it does disable a security feature to do it.


I am getting this same issue, but inconsistently. Sometimes it works in my terminal, sometimes it does not, and I can’t figure out how to replicate it accurately.

  rm /usr/local/bin/atom
  ln -s /Applications/ /usr/local/bin/atom

Always fixes it, but it is annoying to type.


You could always make that a shell script that runs every time you type atom.


I have it in a function in my bash_profile that I run when it happens, but running that every time I type atom ignores the issue. Something is broken, and I’d like it to be fixed, not patched.


I got this unexpectedly. After I executed the command as “/usr/local/bin/atom .” instead of “atom .”, the latter command once again began succeeding.


What does the command which atom print?


It outputs /usr/local/bin/atom