There are a number of ways of setting environment variables in Mac OS X. We will show the different approaches and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

  • With the Terminal Only approach, you can set system wide and user specific environment variables, however it can only be used in the Terminal.
  • With ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist all programs can use these environment variables, but can only set user specific environment variables, and a log out and back in is required. Not supported in Mac OS X 10.8 and later.
  • With /etc/launchd.conf all programs can use these environment variables, but can only set system wide environment variables, and a reboot is required. Not supported in Mac OS X 10.10 and later.
  • With launchd.plist, the same things can be accomplished as with /etc/launchd.conf but formatted in an XML document.

Parts of this series

Comments