So the bottom line here is that I am trying to have one go-to script work to set environment variables (let's call it setenv.sh) that will be used in subsequent scripts. In Windows (I know, that is a 4-letter word here...) I can use a batch file to set a environment variable for after the batch file is over. I am looking for that same effect.

However, I have just learned, through perusing the internet, that environment variables set in a script (aka a shell) only persist in child shells, and do not affect the parent shells. Okay whatever, well now what I want to know is can I run a script inline in another script? By inline, I am talking about something analogous to C/C++'s #include directive. I want this because if I can call a script as if it were running in the current script, my environment variables would at least persist through the duration of my desired script.

For example, something like this:

cat ~/install/setenv.sh | /bin/bash
echo "JBoss home directory is set to $JBOSS_HOME"

But I realize even that won't quite work, and I am starting a child shell with a call to /bin/bash. I am fine if I have to call this setenv.sh for each script I want it to run inline with.

1 Answer 1


if you want to include env variables, you can set those variables in a file, and then source that file in your script.

For example: in myconfig I could do:


then in my shell script:

source /path/to/myconfig
echo "JBOSS home dir is $JBOSS_HOME" 

and that would work.

  • And a shortcut for source is just ., as in . /path/to/myconfig
    – psusi
    Mar 11, 2014 at 22:08

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