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Bash.env is a cascading Bash environment system for those who work on different hardware and OS environments. Similar to oh-my-zsh but for Bash, and special sauce for those who work 'ssh' on remote machines.
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tag: 0.3.13

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Version: 0.3.13

.env (Dot-Env) is a comprehensive, cascading Bash environment system. It provides Bash shell-prompt themes, handy functions, aliases, and tools for the Bash power user. Plugins have recently been introduced for extensibility.

I work on many different machines remotely using SSH. Though I love Z-shell, it does not come standard on most operating systems and has to be installed manually. This can be problematic on Solaris machines. After using Z-shell for a few months I decided to go back to Bash because it comes standard on all operating systems and is usually the default shell.


  • Built for the command-line guru from the ground up with your remote SSH shell environment in mind.
  • Supports 3 operating systems (Linux, Solaris/SunOS, OSX/Darwin)
  • Themeable - comes with several themes to beautify your shell prompt, and you can write your own!
  • Extensible - comes with many plugins to enhance your environments and enrich your command-line experience whether remote or local, and you can write your own!


After installing .env locally whenever you start a new command prompt, using whatever terminal program you desire, .env gets loaded like this:


Lastly, your chosen theme gets loaded and you are ready for an awesome Bash session.


I recommend you fork the project in GitHub, so that your changes can be easily incorporated back into the tree.

Clone the project into your home directory:

cd $HOME
git clone git://<your github username>/.env.git  # if you forked it
git clone git://                 # if you use my repository

Source it:

. $HOME/.env/

Load on Login

To have .env load automatically, execute:


... which will add the above source command to your .bashrc file.

Load on Alias

To have .env load with an alias, execute:


... which will setup the ees alias which will source .env whenever you enter ees after logging in. I use this method on all of my remote hosts that are used by other people, besides myself. That way they don't notice any difference when they login unless they run ees.

Example .bashrc

# Choose your plugins
plugins="completion history"
# Choose a .env theme
# Set my home host.
# So that when we login to a remote box our theme can change
# to the remote version with special colors, etc
# Turn this off to avoid the noise on starting a new shell instance
# Source the .env environment
[[ -r "$HOME/.env/" ]] && . "$HOME/.env/"

Customize your local environment


... which will create a folder in the host directory specifically for your local environment and stub out some empty files that you should customize.

The convention is, $HOME/.env/host/[your-hostname] directory contains files like these:


... and anything else you wish to customize your own local environment.

You can put any *.sh files in your host directory that you want, and they will only get sourced when you start a Bash shell on the machine matching the specified hostname directory.


Let's say your hostname is Harry-Potters-Macbook.local, and you want to add /usr/local/bogus to your path. Here's how you do it:


This command will stub out a few files as examples and cd to the directory where they are $HOME/.env/host/Harry-Potters-Macbook.local. Now you edit each of those files, and delete the ones you don't need. So, since we are only going to add to the path let's remove the other files, then edit the file.


Inside add this line:

pathmunge "/usr/local/bogus"


Now you can source those changes . $HOME/.env/ and your path will include the new entry. Next time you start a shell it will maintain your path and you'll never have duplicates.


.env themes are located in $dot_env_path/themes/. To use a theme set theme='THEME_NAME'. e.g.,


A variant of the sparkr theme is default and will be loaded if no theme is specified. Note that this theme looks best when using the Menlo font.

Please send me a pull request if you create your own themes.

Other Useful Functions

Add your SSH key to a remote host

add_ssh_key_to_host [user@]HOSTNAME

... which will append your public ~/.ssh/ key to the host's authorized_keys file and allow you to login without a password.

Propagate your copy of .env to other hosts

If you want to copy your .env to another host, simply type:

propagate_env_to_host [user@]HOSTNAME

... which will compress your local .env, copy it to the specified host and decompress it. Then follow the instructions above under "Load on Login", or "Load on Alias"

If you want to customize the remote host environment even further:

  • Run confighost.env HOSTNAME
  • Edit the newly created environment files
  • Then propagate_env_to_host HOSTNAME

To determine the correct HOSTNAME to use for your remote environment make sure you first login to that environment and type echo $HOSTNAME.

Make it better

Please feel free to fork it, branch it, change it and send me a pull request.


-- Midwire

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