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Linux Set Environment Variable

The environment variables are dynamic values that are stored within a system and used by applications launched in shells or sub-shells. These variables have a name and their respected value. The environment variable customizes the system performance and the behavior of an application.

The environment is the track for a computer application to interact with the system. The environment variable can have information about the default applications of the system, the system locale, the path of the executable file and the keyboard layout setting, and more. The environment variable makes an app available as per the system.

Common Environment Variables

Some standard environment variables are as follows:

  • PATH

This variable contains a list of directories in which our system looks for files. It separates directories by a (:) colon.

  • USER

This variable holds the username.

  • HOME

This variable holds the default path to the user's home directory.

  • EDITOR

This variable contains the path to the specified editor.

  • UID

This variable contains the path to the user's unique id.

  • TERM

This variable contains the path to the default terminal emulator.

  • SHELL

This variable contains the path to the default shell that is being used by the user.

  • ENV

This variable displays all the environment variable.

How to set Environment Variable in Linux?

There are multiple commands in Linux that allow us to set and create the environment variable.

Use the export command to set a new environment variable.

To create a new variable, use the export command followed by a variable name and its value.

Syntax:

To create a new variable say new_variable, execute the command as follows:

The echo command is used to display the variable:

To display the value of the variable, use the $ symbol before the variable name:

Consider the below output:

Linux Set Environment Variable

To set Java Environment Variable, execute the command as follows:

We can also create a user to define a variable by directly declaring it on the terminal.

If we want to create a variable new_variable2, we can create it as follows:

Consider the below output:

Linux Set Environment Variable

Accessing the value of Environment Variable

To access the value of a variable, execute the echo command as follows:

Note: The variables are case sensitive; we cannot use any variable name 'new_variable' as 'New_variable.'

The env command

The env command is used to display all the available variables in the system.

Output:

SHELL=/bin/bash
SESSION_MANAGER=local/javatpoint-GB-BXBT-2807:@/tmp/.ICE-unix/1458,unix/javatpoint-GB-BXBT-2807:/tmp/.ICE-unix/1458
COLORTERM=truecolor
XDG_CONFIG_DIRS=/etc/xdg/xdg-ubuntu:/etc/xdg
XDG_MENU_PREFIX=gnome-
GNOME_DESKTOP_SESSION_ID=this-is-deprecated
GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus
LANGUAGE=en_IN:en
QT4_IM_MODULE=ibus
MANDATORY_PATH=/usr/share/gconf/ubuntu.mandatory.path
GNOME_SHELL_SESSION_MODE=ubuntu
SSH_AUTH_SOCK=/run/user/1000/keyring/ssh
XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus
DESKTOP_SESSION=ubuntu
SSH_AGENT_PID=1362
GTK_MODULES=gail:atk-bridge
PWD=/home/javatpoint
LOGNAME=javatpoint
XDG_SESSION_DESKTOP=ubuntu
XDG_SESSION_TYPE=x11
GPG_AGENT_INFO=/run/user/1000/gnupg/S.gpg-agent:0:1
XAUTHORITY=/run/user/1000/gdm/Xauthority
GJS_DEBUG_TOPICS=JS ERROR;JS LOG
WINDOWPATH=2
HOME=/home/javatpoint
USERNAME=javatpoint
IM_CONFIG_PHASE=1
LANG=en_IN
LS_COLORS=rs=0:di=01;34:ln=01;36:mh=00:pi=40;33:so=01;35:do=01;35:bd=40;33;01:cd=40;33;01:or=40;31;01:mi=00:su=37;41:sg=30;43:ca=30;41:tw=30;42:ow=34;42:st=37;44:ex=01;32:*.tar=01;31:*.tgz=01;31:*.arc=01;31:*.arj=01;31:*.taz=01;31:*.lha=01;31:*.lz4=01;31:*.lzh=01;31:*.lzma=01;31:*.tlz=01;31:*.txz=01;31:*.tzo=01;31:*.t7z=01;31:*.zip=01;31:*.z=01;31:*.dz=01;31:*.gz=01;31:*.lrz=01;31:*.lz=01;31:*.lzo=01;31:*.xz=01;31:*.zst=01;31:*.tzst=01;31:*.bz2=01;31:*.bz=01;31:*.tbz=01;31:*.tbz2=01;31:*.tz=01;31:*.deb=01;31:*.rpm=01;31:*.jar=01;31:*.war=01;31:*.ear=01;31:*.sar=01;31:*.rar=01;31:*.alz=01;31:*.ace=01;31:*.zoo=01;31:*.cpio=01;31:*.7z=01;31:*.rz=01;31:*.cab=01;31:*.wim=01;31:*.swm=01;31:*.dwm=01;31:*.esd=01;31:*.jpg=01;35:*.jpeg=01;35:*.mjpg=01;35:*.mjpeg=01;35:*.gif=01;35:*.bmp=01;35:*.pbm=01;35:*.pgm=01;35:*.ppm=01;35:*.tga=01;35:*.xbm=01;35:*.xpm=01;35:*.tif=01;35:*.tiff=01;35:*.png=01;35:*.svg=01;35:*.svgz=01;35:*.mng=01;35:*.pcx=01;35:*.mov=01;35:*.mpg=01;35:*.mpeg=01;35:*.m2v=01;35:*.mkv=01;35:*.webm=01;35:*.ogm=01;35:*.mp4=01;35:*.m4v=01;35:*.mp4v=01;35:*.vob=01;35:*.qt=01;35:*.nuv=01;35:*.wmv=01;35:*.asf=01;35:*.rm=01;35:*.rmvb=01;35:*.flc=01;35:*.avi=01;35:*.fli=01;35:*.flv=01;35:*.gl=01;35:*.dl=01;35:*.xcf=01;35:*.xwd=01;35:*.yuv=01;35:*.cgm=01;35:*.emf=01;35:*.ogv=01;35:*.ogx=01;35:*.aac=00;36:*.au=00;36:*.flac=00;36:*.m4a=00;36:*.mid=00;36:*.midi=00;36:*.mka=00;36:*.mp3=00;36:*.mpc=00;36:*.ogg=00;36:*.ra=00;36:*.wav=00;36:*.oga=00;36:*.opus=00;36:*.spx=00;36:*.xspf=00;36:
XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=ubuntu:GNOME
VTE_VERSION=5802
GNOME_TERMINAL_SCREEN=/org/gnome/Terminal/screen/dc6e48ed_7868_43d5_a086_fd6d6a90a74a
INVOCATION_ID=fadf556d1cf5422ea55b247bf57c3c99
MANAGERPID=1252
CLUTTER_IM_MODULE=ibus
GJS_DEBUG_OUTPUT=stderr
LESSCLOSE=/usr/bin/lesspipe %s %s
XDG_SESSION_CLASS=user
TERM=xterm-256color
DEFAULTS_PATH=/usr/share/gconf/ubuntu.default.path
LESSOPEN=| /usr/bin/lesspipe %s
USER=javatpoint
GNOME_TERMINAL_SERVICE=:1.216
DISPLAY=:0
SHLVL=1
QT_IM_MODULE=ibus
XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=/run/user/1000
JOURNAL_STREAM=9:35179
XDG_DATA_DIRS=/usr/share/ubuntu:/usr/local/share/:/usr/share/:/var/lib/snapd/desktop
PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/snap/bin
GDMSESSION=ubuntu
DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=unix:path=/run/user/1000/bus
_=/usr/bin/env
javatpoint@javatpoint-GB-BXBT-2807:~$ 

Removing an Environment Variable

By removing an environment variable we can remove all existing component of particular variable.

To remove an environment variable, execute the unset command followed by variable name:

The above command will delete the specified variable and its components from the system.

To remove a variable new_variable from the system, execute the command as follows:

Consider the below output:

Linux Set Environment Variable
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