How to use export with Python on Linux


Python Problem Overview

I need to make an export like this in Python :

# export MY_DATA="my_export"

I've tried to do :

# -*- python-mode -*-
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import os
os.system('export MY_DATA="my_export"')

But when I list export, "MY_DATA" not appear :

# export

How I can do an export with Python without saving "my_export" into a file ?

Python Solutions

Solution 1 - Python

export is a command that you give directly to the shell (e.g. bash), to tell it to add or modify one of its environment variables. You can't change your shell's environment from a child process (such as Python), it's just not possible.

Here's what's happening when you try os.system('export MY_DATA="my_export"')...

/bin/bash process, command `python` forks python subprocess
   /usr/bin/python process, command `os.system()` forks /bin/sh subprocess
      /bin/sh process, command `export ...` changes its local environment

When the bottom-most /bin/sh subprocess finishes running your export ... command, then it's discarded, along with the environment that you have just changed.

Solution 2 - Python

You actually want to do

import os
os.environ["MY_DATA"] = "my_export"

Solution 3 - Python

Another way to do this, if you're in a hurry and don't mind the hacky-aftertaste, is to execute the output of the python script in your bash environment and print out the commands to execute setting the environment in python. Not ideal but it can get the job done in a pinch. It's not very portable across shells, so YMMV.

$(python -c 'print "export MY_DATA=my_export"')

(you can also enclose the statement in backticks in some shells ``)

Solution 4 - Python

Not that simple:

python -c "import os; os.putenv('MY_DATA','1233')"
$ echo $MY_DATA # <- empty


python -c "import os; os.putenv('MY_DATA','123'); os.system('bash')"
$ echo $MY_DATA #<- 123

Solution 5 - Python

I have an excellent answer.

#! /bin/bash

output=$(git diff origin/master..origin/develop | \
python -c '
  variable1_to_be_exported="Yo Yo"
  variable2_to_be_exported="Honey Singh"
  … so on
  magic+="export onShell-var1=\""+str(variable1_to_be_exported)+"\"\n"
  magic+="export onShell-var2=\""+str(variable2_to_be_exported)+"\""  
  print magic

eval "$output"
echo "$onShell-var1" // Output will be Yo Yo
echo "$onShell-var2" // Output will be Honey Singh

Mr Alex Tingle is correct about those processes and sub-process stuffs

How it can be achieved is like the above I have mentioned. Key Concept is :

  1. Whatever printed from python will be stored in the variable in the catching variable in bash [output]
  2. We can execute any command in the form of string using eval
  3. So, prepare your print output from python in a meaningful bash commands
  4. use eval to execute it in bash

And you can see your results

NOTE Always execute the eval using double quotes or else bash will mess up your \ns and outputs will be strange

PS: I don't like bash but your have to use it

Solution 6 - Python

I've had to do something similar on a CI system recently. My options were to do it entirely in bash (yikes) or use a language like python which would have made programming the logic much simpler.

My workaround was to do the programming in python and write the results to a file. Then use bash to export the results.

For example:

# do calculations in python
with open("./my_export", "w") as f:
# then in bash
export MY_DATA="$(cat ./my_export)"
rm ./my_export  # if no longer needed

Solution 7 - Python

You could try os.environ["MY_DATA"] instead.

Solution 8 - Python

Kind of a hack because it's not really python doing anything special here, but if you run the export command in the same sub-shell, you will probably get the result you want.

import os

cmd = "export MY_DATA='1234'; echo $MY_DATA" # or whatever command

Solution 9 - Python

In the hope of providing clarity over common cinfusion...

I have written many python <--> bash <--> elfbin toolchains and the proper way to see it is such as this:

Each process (originator) has a state of the environment inherited from whatever invoked it. Any change remains lokal to that process. Transfering an environment state is a function by itself and runs in two directions, each with it's own caveats. The most common thing is to modify environment before running a sub-process. To go down to the metal, look at the exec() - call in C. There is a variant that takes a pointer to environment data. This is the only actually supported transfer of environment in typical OS'es.

Shell scripts will create a state to pass when running children when you do an export. Otherwise it just uses that which it got in the first place.

In all other cases it will be some generic mechanism used to pass a set of data to allow the calling process itself to update it's environment based on the result of the child-processes output.


source $TMPFILE

The same can of course be done using json, xml or other things as long as you have the tools to interpret and apply.

The need for this may be (50% chance) a sign of misconstruing the basic primitives and that you need a better config or parameter interchange in your solution.....

Oh, in python I would do something like... (need improvement depending on your situation)

import re


OUTPUT=RunSomething(...) (Assuming 'k1=v1 k2=v2')

for kv in OUTPUT.split(' ')
    #The not a property case...

Solution 10 - Python

One line solution:

eval `python -c 'import sysconfig;print("python_include_path={0}".format(sysconfig.get_path("include")))'`
echo $python_include_path  # prints /home/<usr>/anaconda3/include/python3.6m" in my case


Python call
python -c 'import sysconfig;print("python_include_path={0}".format(sysconfig.get_path("include")))'

It's launching a python script that

  1. imports sysconfig
  2. gets the python include path corresponding to this python binary (use "which python" to see which one is being used)
  3. prints the script "python_include_path={0}" with {0} being the path from 2
Eval call
eval `python -c 'import sysconfig;print("python_include_path={0}".format(sysconfig.get_path("include")))'`

It's executing in the current bash instance the output from the python script. In my case, its executing:


In other words, it's setting the environment variable "python_include_path" with that path for this shell instance.

Inspired by:

Solution 11 - Python

import os
import shlex
from subprocess import Popen, PIPE


res = Popen(shlex.split("cmd xxx -xxx"), stdin=PIPE, stdout=PIPE, stderr=PIPE,
            env=os.environ, shell=True).communicate('y\ny\ny\n'.encode('utf8'))
stdout = res[0]
stderr = res[1]

Solution 12 - Python

os.system ('/home/user1/exportPath.ksh')


export PATH=MY_DATA="my_export"


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QuestionKevin CampionView Question on Stackoverflow
Solution 1 - Pythonalex tingleView Answer on Stackoverflow
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