Working with environment variables

Run all of the commands on this page from within the project directory.

Anaconda Project sets some environment variables automatically:

  • PROJECT_DIR specifies the location of your project directory.
  • CONDA_ENV_PATH is set to the file system location of the current conda environment.
  • PATH includes the binary directory from the current conda environment.

These variables always exist and can always be used in your Python code.

Using variables in scripts

Use Python’s os.getenv() function to obtain variables from within your scripts.

EXAMPLE: The following script, called, prints out data:

import os
import pandas as pd

project_dir = os.getenv("PROJECT_DIR")
env = os.getenv("CONDA_DEFAULT_ENV")
iris_csv = os.getenv("IRIS_CSV")

flowers = pd.read_csv(iris_csv)

print("My project directory is {} and my conda environment is {}".format(project_dir, env))

If you tried to run this example script with python, it would not work if pandas was not installed and the environment variables were not set.

Adding a variable

If a command needs a user-supplied parameter, you can require—or just allow—users to provide values for these before the command runs.

NOTE: Encrypted variables such as passwords are treated differently from other custom variables. See Adding an encrypted variable.

  1. Add the unencrypted variable to your project:

    anaconda-project add-variable VARIABLE

    NOTE: Replace VARIABLE with the name of the variable that you want to add.

    EXAMPLE: To add a variable called COLUMN_TO_SHOW:

    anaconda-project add-variable COLUMN_TO_SHOW
  2. OPTIONAL: In a text editor, open anaconda-project.yml to see the new variable listed in the variables section.

  3. OPTIONAL: Use the command anaconda-project list-variables to see the new variables listed.

  4. Include the new variable in your script in the same way as you would for any other variable.

The first time a user runs your project, they are prompted to provide a value for your custom variable. On subsequent runs, the user will not be prompted.

All environment variables are available for jinja2 templating as shown in the HTTP Commands section.

Adding an encrypted variable

Use variables for passwords and other secret information so that each user can input their own private information.

Encrypted variable values are kept in the system keychain, while other variable values are kept in the anaconda-project-local.yml file. In all other respects, working with encrypted variables is the same as for unencrypted variables.

Any variable ending in _PASSWORD, _SECRET, or _SECRET_KEY is automatically encrypted.

To create an encrypted variable:

anaconda-project add-variable VARIABLE_encrypt-flag

NOTE: Replace VARIABLE with the name of the variable that you want to add. Replace _encrypt-flag with _PASSWORD, _SECRET or _SECRET_KEY.

EXAMPLE: To create an encrypted variable called DB_PASSWORD:

anaconda-project add-variable DB_PASSWORD

Adding a variable with a default value

You can set a default value for a variable, which is stored with the variable in anaconda-project.yml. If you set a default, users are not prompted to provide a value, but they can override the default value if they want to.

To add a variable with a default value:

anaconda-project add-variable --default=default_value VARIABLE

NOTE: Replace default_value with the default value to be set and VARIABLE with the name of the variable to create.

EXAMPLE: To add the variable COLUMN_TO_SHOW with the default value petal_width:

anaconda-project add-variable --default=petal_width COLUMN_TO_SHOW

If you or a user sets the variable in anaconda-project-local.yml, the default is ignored. However, you can unset the local override so that the default is used:

anaconda-project unset-variable VARIABLE

NOTE: Replace VARIABLE with the variable name.

EXAMPLE: To unset the COLUMN_TO_SHOW variable:

anaconda-project unset-variable COLUMN_TO_SHOW

Changing a variable’s value

The variable values entered by a user are stored in the user’s anaconda-project-local.yml file. To change a variable’s value in the user’s file:

anaconda-project set-variable VARIABLE=value

NOTE: Replace VARIABLE with the variable name and value with the new value for that variable.

EXAMPLE: To set COLUMN_TO_SHOW to petal_length:

anaconda-project set-variable COLUMN_TO_SHOW=petal_length

Removing a variable’s value

Use the unset-variable command to remove the value that has been set for a variable. Only the value is removed. The project still requires a value for the variable in order to run.

Removing a variable

Use the remove-variable command to remove the variable from anaconda-project.yml so that the project no longer requires the variable value in order to run.