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Old 10-21-2003, 10:19 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
Distribution: Suse 8.0
Posts: 50

Rep: Reputation: 15
really easy question: why won't my environment variables export

I'm trying to export some variables from .bash_profile but when I run the script it just won't export them, I've tried everything I know which isn't much:

# User specific environment and startup programs

echo "Bash Profile Script Starting..."
#Set up environment variables
echo $QTDIR
export QTDIR

running it:
[rg@pc-ug19-10 rg]$ .bash_profile
Bash Profile Script Starting...
[rg@pc-ug19-10 rg]$ echo $QTDIR

[rg@pc-ug19-10 rg]$

Old 10-22-2003, 01:06 AM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 4,113

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Are you trying this from an xterm? You probably just need to run 'rxvt -ls' (or whatever) and then do 'echo $QTDIR'. If not, login and logout - or do whatever it is that gets bash to reread it's initialization files.

Oh, if you want to do it on the fly, rather than modifying bash_profile, just typing 'export QTDIR=/usr/lib/qt3' or whatever should work. But that's a one-time thing.

Last edited by slakmagik; 10-22-2003 at 01:11 AM.
Old 10-22-2003, 01:17 AM   #3
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

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The exporting is done to subprocesses started by the shell. So when your bash_profile is run by the login shell all your processes should get the exported variables OK. But in your example you are invoking a new shell to execute the commands in there. When this shell terminates, the values are lost.

I think that's what's happening anyway

To see what I mean do:

% foo=bar
% xterm &
(now try 'echo $foo' in the xterm - no value...)
% export foo
% xterm &
(now try 'echo $foo' again in new xterm, should see the value).

Last edited by maroonbaboon; 10-22-2003 at 01:28 AM.
Old 10-22-2003, 05:22 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Chennai, India
Distribution: PCLinuxOS .92, FC4
Posts: 840

Rep: Reputation: 32
You have to type "source <filename>" in order to update an running shell using this method. Otherwise, as maroonbaboon pointed out, your script will fork out a new shell and execute the commands in that shell, and worse, kill that thread when the script is over.


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