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——————————— Wednesday 11, May 2022 ———————————
bash - linux - shell -

To import the environment of another process, one can use while read -d '' -r ev; do export "$ev"; done <"/proc/$(pgrep -u "$USER" -x PROCNAME)/environ" (when using bash).

This is particularly handy e.g. when connecting to a machine through SSH while a graphical session is running and wanting to interact with it (X, DBus, etc.).

This leverages some Bash specifics, like read -d '' to use NUL as the line separator. There are solutions only using POSIX constructs, but the only I know involves a temporary file, which is not as handy. Before discovering read -d '' I was using another Bashism: process substitution, in the form of <(tr '\0' '\n' </proc/$(pgrep -u "$USER" -x PROCNAME). It isn't as good as it would not properly handle newlines in the environment, though, but it could easily be converted to a POSIX-compliant construct using a temporary file. Note that the naive alternative of piping the same thing to the while loop (and thus to read) will not work as it would run the loop in a subshell, not affecting the environment of the current shell. Another alternative would be to evaluate the output of such a subshell that would echo it, but that would require escaping the values, to which I don't know a robust POSIX solution (there are plenty of handmade ones around, but most fail in odd corner cases -- and no, printf %q is not in POSIX).