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(The) env

A tool to help manage environments. Currently only supports setting kubernetes and pass environments but will likely get support for more stuff as the Author needs them.

Usage guide and rationale behind this can be found here and here.

How to install

  • Download a binary from the releases page
  • Add the below line at the end of your ~/.bashrc, ~/.zshrc or ~/.config/fish/conf.d/ :

For ZSH:

eval "$(denv hook ZSH)"


eval "$(denv hook BASH)"


denv hook FISH | source

NOTE: Make sure to use all caps when choosing the SHELL.

To compile the latest source:

  • Install stack
  • Clone this repo
  • cd to the cloned repo and run: stack install
  • Add ~/.local/bin to your PATH.

How it works

Denv uses a hook that it executes during each shell re-print. It check to see if a temporary file in ~/.denv exists. This file contains information on which environment variables to set and which to unset. Once it processes the file it will remove it.

See below on how to activate different environments.

Kube env

Add alias to .zshrc or .bashrc:

alias k='kubectl --namespace=${KUBECTL_NAMESPACE:-default}'

Activate kube env:

denv kube -p ~/.kube/my-cluster.yaml -n kube-system

Run command:

k get pods

Pass env

Requires that you have pass installed.

Use the current dir as the password store:

denv pass

Or specify a path to the password store:

denv pass -p /path/to/password-store


Example config file in /tmp/env:

export FOO=foo

Activate env with:

denv source /tmp/env

NOTE: In essence this just exports whatever is written in the env file and keeps track of it so that we can unset it later.


Example config file in prod/env:

export ENVIRONMENT=prod
export TF_VAR_some_var_foo=$ENVIRONMENT-foo

Activate env with:

denv source prod/env

NOTE: This command has been removed in in the TODO version in favor of using the above "raw" source command.

Vault env

Example config file in ~/.vault/example:

export VAULT_ADDR=
export VAULT_TOKEN=supersecretotken

Activate env with:

denv source ~/.vault/example

NOTE: As with the terraform command, this too has been removed in favor of the "raw" source command.

AWS env


You need to configure your ~/.aws/config and ~/.aws/credentials before we proceed. Here's an example:

#### ~/.aws/config ####

[profile project1]

[profile project2]

[profile project3]

[profile project1-prod-admin]

[profile project2-prod-admin]

[profile project3-test]

##### ~/.aws/credentials #####




Make sure to set the correct permissions: chmod 600 ~/.aws/config && chmod 600 ~/.aws/credentials NOTE: I consider it best practice to delete the default profile if you have one.

In the example above we have have configured AWS access for 3 projects. For project1 we are accessing the prod environment and are required to enter a MFA token and assume a role to be able to do anything. Denv will take care of this for us. In this example denv will first request STS (temporary) credentials, called session credentials, which we will then use to assume the admin role. All further requests are done using the key and secret from the admin role.

The session credentials and role credentials are both cached in ~/.aws-env/. Once the role credentials expire (default is 1 hour but this will be configurable in a future release) we will use the temporary session credentials to request new ones. The session credentials will expire in 36 hours (this will be configurable in a future release). It's worth noting that during these 36 hours you will not be prompted for your MFA token code.

In the second example for project2, since we are not using a MFA token, we will not be able to use temporary session credentials and will use your raw credentials to assume the role. Conversely, if there is no role to assume, like with project 3, denv will just export your aws_access_key_id and aws_secret_access_key that you specified in the credentials file.

How to use

Aws environments can be activated in 2 ways:

  • Eval form
  • Exec form

To activate the eval form run the following command:

denv aws -p project1-prod-admin

So now you have the required environment variables injected in your shell. Try running export | grep AWS* to see what they are.

And try running a command like aws ec2 describe-instances to verify it works.

To use the exec form run the following command:

denv aws -p project1-prod-admin -- aws ec2 describe-instances

The benefit of this is that the variables are only visible to the process you are calling (in this case the aws cli tool), and are never exported into your current shell. I prefer using the tool this way.

NOTE: As with all the other commands denv tracks the injected variables so that denv deactivate can unset them from your shell.

Deactivate env

denv deactivate


IMPORTANT: deactivate should always be called first between invoking activate for different envs. The only exception to this is the aws exec form described above.

ZSH completions

Copy completions/_denv to ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/denv/_denv