autoenv automatically executes code when you cd into a directory with a .env file. You can use it to automatically activate a project's virtual environment.

Programming language: Shell
License: MIT License
Latest version: v0.2.1

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Autoenv: Directory-based Environments Build Status

Magic per-project shell environments

What is it?

If a directory contains a .env file, it will automatically be executed when you cd into it. When enabled (set AUTOENV_ENABLE_LEAVE to a non-null string), if a directory contains a .env.leave file, it will automatically be executed when you leave it.

This is great for...

  • auto-activating virtualenvs
  • auto-deactivating virtualenvs
  • project-specific environment variables
  • making millions

You can also nest envs within each other. How awesome is that!?

When executing, autoenv, will walk up the directories until the mount point and execute all .env files beginning at the top.


Follow the white rabbit:

$ echo "echo 'whoa'" > project/.env
$ cd project

Mind blown GIF


Install it easily:

MacOS using Homebrew

$ brew install autoenv
$ echo "source $(brew --prefix autoenv)/activate.sh" >> ~/.bash_profile

Using Git

$ git clone https://github.com/hyperupcall/autoenv ~/.autoenv
$ echo "source ~/.autoenv/activate.sh" >> ~/.bashrc

Using npm

Download the @hyperupcall/autoenv package

$ npm install -g '@hyperupcall/autoenv'
$ echo "source \"\$(npm root -g)/@hyperupcall/autoenv/activate.sh\"" >> ~/.bashrc


Before sourcing activate.sh, you can set the following variables:

  • AUTOENV_AUTH_FILE: Authorized env files, defaults to ~/.autoenv_authorized if it exists; otherwise, ~/.local/state/autoenv/authorized_list
  • AUTOENV_ENV_FILENAME: Name of the .env file, defaults to .env
  • AUTOENV_LOWER_FIRST: Set this variable to a non-empty string to flip the order of .env files executed
  • AUTOENV_ENV_LEAVE_FILENAME: Name of the .env.leave file, defaults to .env.leave
  • AUTOENV_ENABLE_LEAVE: Set this to a non-empty string in order to enable source env when leaving
  • AUTOENV_ASSUME_YES: Set this variable to a non-empty string to silently authorize the initialization of new environments
  • AUTOENV_VIEWER: Program used to display env files prior to authorization. Default: "less -N".


autoenv is tested on:

  • Bash
  • Zsh
  • Dash
  • Fish is supported by autoenv_fish
  • More to come


direnv is an excellent alternative to autoenv, and includes the ability to unset environment variables as well. It also supports the Fish terminal.


Autoenv overrides cd. If you already do this, invoke autoenv_init within your custom cd after sourcing activate.sh.

Autoenv can be disabled via unset cd if you experience I/O issues with certain file systems, particularly those that are FUSE-based (such as smbnetfs).


Autoenv was originally created by @kennethreitz. Later, ownership was transfered to @inishchith. As of August 22nd, 2021, Edwin Kofler (@hyperupcall) owns and maintains the project