The export builtin command

export [-fn] [NAME[=VALUE] ...]
export -p

The export builtin command is used to mark variables or functions referenced by NAME for automatic export to the environment. If NAME is a shell variable, a value VALUE can be assigned before exporting it.


Option Description
-f refer to shell functions
-n remove the export property from any referenced NAME
-p print all exported variables, with -f, print all exported functions - all in a format re-usable as input

An argument of -- disables further option processing.

Return status

Status Reason
0 no error
!=0 invalid option
!=0 a given NAME is invalid

Set the display to use when launching a GUI application (useful during SSH sessions):

export DISPLAY=":0"

Set your default text editor (e.g. SublimeText):

export EDITOR=subl

  • in POSIX┬«, only the -p option is specified
  • in POSIX┬«, only variables (with value assignment) are to be exported, not shell functions
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