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Version: v2.8.x LTS

Configuring an environment variables file

Configuring an environment variables file

If it is not possible to configure your own system environment variables, create a special configuration file to set these variables for Zowe CLI commands.

Although not common, there are cases where users do not have the ability to configure their own system environment variables. This can happen when users are working on hosted integrated development environments (IDEs), or in a highly locked down environment.

When working under these kinds of restrictions, you can set environment variables that apply to CLI commands. To do this, create a .zowe.env.json file storing key-value pairs that specify your configurations.

Note: Use a .zowe.env.json file only when it is not possible to set your own system environment variables. If you are able to configure environment variables in your system, continue to do so.

How .zowe.env.json works

When a Zowe command is issued, the command initializes the Imperative CLI Framework so that it loads all the utilities that allow the command to function. Imperative reads the .zowe.env.json configuration file and sets the environment variables before any loggers or Zowe CLI finish their own initialization.

The .zowe.env.json environment variables are set for only the duration of a Zowe CLI command.

If an existing environment variable is set in your system and the variable is also in .zowe.env.json, the values in .zowe.env.json overwrite it.

.zowe.env.json can be used to set any environment variable. This allows setting environment variables to change the default behavior of Node.JS, in addition to all of the Zowe environment variables.

Creating the configuration file

Create a dedicated JSON file to store settings for environment variables.

Follow these steps:

  1. In your Files Explorer, go to the home directory (%HOMEPATH% for Windows, $HOME for Linux and Mac) or the path set in the ZOWE_CLI_HOME environment variable.

  2. Create a JSON file titled .zowe.env.json.

  3. Use an IDE to open .zowe.env.json and enter environment variables, as in the following example:

    "ZOWE_CLI_HOME": "C:\Users\User\alternate\location\to\.zowe",
    "ZOWE_CLI_PLUGINS_DIR": "C:\Users\Shared\.zowe\Plugins",
    "NUMBER": "12345",
    "BOOLEAN": "TRUE",
    "OBJECT": "{\"key\":\"value\"}"

    NOTE: If you have the ZOWE_CLI_HOME environment variable set in your system, do not include it in the .zowe.env.json file. Otherwise, unexpected behavior can occur.

Using daemon mode

Daemon mode is a long-running background process that significantly improves Zowe CLI performance.

When changes are made to your work environment, daemon mode does not capture the changes. Restarting daemon mode lets the daemon capture any updates since its last start up.

This means that if the Zowe CLI daemon is in use, the daemon must be restarted when the .zowe.env.json file is created or updated.

Issue the following command to stop the currently running daemon and start a new daemon:

zowe daemon restart

See Restart daemon mode for more information.