In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of reloading environment variables in XFCE without having to re-login. This can be particularly useful when you need to update your environment variables and want the changes to take effect immediately, without disrupting your current session.
To reload environment variables in XFCE without re-login, you can use the
source command or its dot abbreviation to re-read the file containing the variables. Alternatively, you can set environment variables in a shell session or create a script to automate the process. These methods allow you to update your environment variables without having to disrupt your current session.
Understanding Environment Variables
Environment variables are dynamic-named values that can affect the way running processes behave on a computer. They are part of the environment in which a process runs. For example, a running process can query the value of the
TEMP environment variable to discover a suitable location to store temporary files, or the
HOME variable to find the directory structure owned by the user running the process.
Updating Environment Variables
To update environment variables, you typically have to modify the appropriate files and then re-login to your session for the changes to take effect. However, there are ways to reload these variables without re-login. Let’s explore how.
source command reads and executes commands from the file specified as its argument in the current shell environment. It is a shell built-in function that helps to read and execute commands from a file in the current shell session.
Here’s how you can use it:
- Open a terminal.
- Use the
sourcecommand to re-read the file containing the environment variables. For example:
In this command,
source is the command that reads and executes commands from the file,
$HOME/.profile is the file from which the commands are read.
$HOME is an environment variable that represents your home directory.
Using the Dot Abbreviation
Alternatively, you can use the dot abbreviation, which performs the same function as the
Setting Environment Variables for Specific Applications
If you want to set environment variables for a specific application, you can do so in a shell session and start the application from there. For example:
export LANG=fr_FR /some/path/to/an/executable
In this example,
export is a command that sets environment variables,
LANG is the name of the variable, and
fr_FR is the value. The second line is the path to the executable file of the application.
Setting Environment Variables for Specific Commands
Another option is to set an environment variable for a specific command. For example:
In this command,
LANG=fr_FR sets the
LANG environment variable to
fr_FR for the duration of the command that follows.
Automating the Process with a Script
If you frequently use the same environment variables, you can create a script to automate the process. Here’s an example script:
#!/bin/bash export LANG=fr_FR /some/path/to/an/executable
Save the script in a location within your
$PATH, such as
/usr/local/bin, with a name like
start_important_application. Then, you can use the command
start_important_application to launch your application with the updated environment.
In summary, to reload environment variables in a running desktop environment, you can use the
source command or its dot abbreviation to re-read the file containing the variables. Alternatively, you can set environment variables in a shell session or create a script to automate the process. These methods allow you to update your environment variables without having to disrupt your current session by re-logging in.
Yes, you can update environment variables without re-logging in by using the
source command or its dot abbreviation. These commands allow you to reload the file containing the variables in your current shell session.
To use the
source command, open a terminal and enter
source followed by the path of the file containing the environment variables. For example,
source $HOME/.profile will reload the variables from the
.profile file in your home directory.
The dot abbreviation for the
source command is a period followed by a space and the path of the file containing the environment variables. For example,
. $HOME/.profile will achieve the same result as using the
Yes, you can set environment variables for specific applications by using the
export command in a shell session before starting the application. For example,
export LANG=fr_FR followed by the path to the executable file will set the
LANG variable to
fr_FR for that specific application.
Yes, you can set environment variables for specific commands by including the variable assignment before the command. For example,
LANG=fr_FR /some/path/to/an/executable will set the
LANG variable to
fr_FR only for the duration of that specific command.
Yes, you can automate the process of updating environment variables by creating a script. In the script, you can set the desired variables and then execute the application or command. Save the script in a location within your
$PATH, such as
/usr/local/bin, and you can use a command to launch the application with the updated environment.