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How do do more complex shell commands in Sage?

According to the tutorial, I can do things like !ls inside the Sage shell (in fact, here ls works).


echo $PATH

doesn't work whether I prepend a !, put it in quotes, whatever. How do I get such things to work, if at all? Is PATH just not defined in the Sage session?

(Secondarily, I'm trying to figure out how to put things in a path of a Sage session; sys.path seems to be the place to do it, but I'm not 100% sure of that.)