How do I add environment variables

to access the environment variable, use $ dollar sign as prefix, e.g. $MYVAR

To set variable only for current shell: VARNAME="my value" To set it for current shell and all processes started from current shell: export VARNAME="my value" # shorter, less portable version To set it permanently for all future bash sessions add such line to your .bashrc file in your $HOME directory. To set it permanently, and system wide (all users, all processes) add set variable in /etc/environment: gksudo gedit /etc/environment You need to logout from current user and login again so environment variables changes take place.