Unclutter your .profile

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direnv -- Unclutter your .profile

direnv is a shell extension that loads different environment variables depending on your path.

Instead of putting every environment variable in your "~/.profile", have directory-specific ".envrc" files for your AWSACCESSKEY, LIBRARY_PATH or other environment variables.

It does some of the job of rvm, rbenv or virtualenv but in a language-agnostic way.


$ cd ~/code/my_project
$ ls
bin/ lib/ Rakefile README.md
$ echo $PATH
$ direnv edit .
# Opens in your `$EDITOR .envrc`. Add:
export PATH=$PWD/bin:$PATH
direnv: loading .envrc
direnv export: ~PATH
$ echo $PATH
$ cd ..
direnv: unloading
direnv export: ~PATH
$ echo $PATH


1. Install the code

git clone http://github.com/zimbatm/direnv
cd direnv
make install
# or symlink bin/direnv into your $PATH

For Mac users, you can also use brew install direnv

2. Add the hook for your shell

This is what is going to enable the direnv extension. It's going to allow direnv to execute before every prompt command and adjust the environment.


Add the following line at the end of your "~/.bashrc" file:

eval "$(direnv hook bash)"

Make sure it appears even after rvm, git-prompt and other shell extensions that manipulate your prompt.


Add the following line at the end of you "~/.zshrc" file:

eval "$(direnv hook zsh)"

If you want to place it in another file replace $0 with "zsh" as zsh changes the value dynamically.


Add the following line at the end of your "~/.config/fish/config.fish" file:

eval (direnv hook fish)


Use direnv edit . to open an ".envrc" in your $EDITOR. This script is going to be executed once you exit the editor. Every export is going to be available in your shell until you cd .. out of the directory.

To make your life convenient there is a couple of additional commands in the .envrc execution context that are loaded from the direnv stdlib.


Bug reports, contributions and forks are welcome.

For bugs, report them on http://github.com/zimbatm/direnv/issues

Or if you have some cool usages of direnv that you want to share, feel free to put them in the wiki https://github.com/zimbatm/direnv/wiki

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Thank you for making direnv better

Copyright (C) 2013 Jonas Pfenniger and contributors under the MIT licence.