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direnv_stdlib - the ".envrc" stdlib


direnv stdlib


Outputs a bash script called the stdlib. The following commands are included in that script and loaded in the context of an ".envrc". In addition, it also loads the file in " /.direnvrc" if it exists.


has command: Returns 0 if the command is available. Returns 1 otherwise. It can be a binary in the PATH or a shell function.


if has curl; then
  echo "Yes we do"
expand_path rel_path [relative_to]: Outputs the absolute path of rel_path relative to relative_to or the current directory.


cd /usr/local/games
expand_path ../foo
# output: /usr/local/foo

dotenv [dotenv_path]: Loads a ".env" file into the current environment

user_rel_path abs_path: Transforms an absolute path abs_path into a user-relative path if possible.


echo $HOME
# output: /home/user
user_rel_path /home/user/my/project
# output:  /my/project
user_rel_path /usr/local/lib
# output: /usr/local/lib
find_up filename: Outputs the path of filename when searched from the current directory up to /. Returns 1 if the file has not been found.


cd /usr/local/my
mkdir -p project/foo
touch bar
cd project/foo
find_up bar
# output: /usr/local/my/bar

source_env file_or_dir_path: Loads another ".envrc" either by specifying its path or filename.

source_up [filename]: Loads another ".envrc" if found with the find_up command.

direnv_load [command-generating-dump-output] Applies the environment generated by running argv as a command. This is useful for adopting the environment of a child process - cause that process to run "direnv dump" and then wrap the results with direnv_load.


direnv_load opam-env exec -- direnv dump
PATH_add path: Prepends the expanded path to the PATH environment variable. It prevents a common mistake where PATH is replaced by only the new path.


# output: /home/user/my/project
PATH_add bin
echo $PATH
# output: /home/user/my/project/bin:/usr/bin:/bin

path_add varname path: Works like PATH_add except that it's for an arbitrary varname.

load_prefix prefix_path: Expands some common path variables for the given prefix_path prefix. This is useful if you installed something in the prefix_path using ./configure --prefix=$prefix_path make install and want to use it in the project.

Variables set:



./configure --prefix=$HOME/rubies/ruby-1.9.3
make  make install
# Then in the .envrc
load_prefix  /rubies/ruby-1.9.3

layout type: A semantic dispatch used to describe common project layouts.

layout go: Sets the GOPATH environment variable to the current directory.

layout node: Adds "$PWD/node_modules/.bin" to the PATH environment variable.

layout perl: Setup environment variables required by perl's local::lib See ⟨⟩ for more details

layout python [python_exe]: Creates and loads a virtualenv environment under $PWD/.direnv/python-$python_version. This forces the installation of any egg into the project's sub-folder.

It's possible to specify the python executable if you want to use different versions of python (eg: layout python python3).

Note that previously virtualenv was located under $PWD/.direnv/virtualenv and will be re-used by direnv if it exists.

layout python3: A shortcut for layout python python3

layout ruby: Sets the GEM_HOME environment variable to $PWD/.direnv/ruby/RUBY_VERSION. This forces the installation of any gems into the project's sub-folder. If you're using bundler it will create wrapper programs that can be invoked directly instead of using the bundle exec prefix.

use program_name [version]: A semantic command dispatch intended for loading external dependencies into the environment.


use_ruby() {
  echo "Ruby $1"
use ruby 1.9.3
# output: Ruby 1.9.3
  • use rbenv: Loads rbenv which add the ruby wrappers available on the PATH.

use nix [...]: Load environment variables from nix-shell.

If you have a default.nix or shell.nix these will be used by default, but you can also specify packages directly (e.g use nix -p ocaml).

See ⟨⟩

use guix [...]: Load environment variables from guix environment.

Any arguments given will be passed to guix environment. For example, use guix hello would setup an environment with the dependencies of the hello package. To create an environment including hello, the --ad-hoc flag is used use guix --ad-hoc hello. Other options include --load which allows loading an environment from a file.

See ⟨⟩

rvm ...: Should work just like in the shell if you have rvm installed.

use node: Loads NodeJS version from a .node-version or .nvmrc file.

If you specify a partial NodeJS version (i.e. 4.2), a fuzzy match is performed and the highest matching version installed is selected.

Example (.envrc):

set -e
use node

Example (.node-version):

use node version: Loads specified NodeJS version.

Example (.envrc):

set -e
use node 4.2.2
watch path: Adds a file to direnv's watch-list. If the file changes direnv will reload the environment on the next prompt.

Example (.envrc):

watch Gemfile


Copyright (C) 2014 zimbatm ⟨⟩ and contributors under the MIT licence.


APRIL 2014 direnv