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This page shows how to define environment variables when you run a container in a Kubernetes Pod.

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Defining an environment variable for a container

When you create a Pod, you can set environment variables for the containers that run in the Pod. To set environment variables, include the env or envFrom field in the configuration file.

In this exercise, you create a Pod that runs one container. The configuration file for the Pod defines an environment variable with name DEMO_GREETING and value "Hello from the environment". Here is the configuration file for the Pod:

{% include code.html language="yaml" file="envars.yaml" ghlink="/docs/tasks/configure-pod-container/envars.yaml" %}

  1. Create a Pod based on the YAML configuration file:

    kubectl create -f http://k8s.io/docs/tasks/configure-pod-container/envars.yaml
  2. List the running Pods:

    kubectl get pods -l purpose=demonstrate-envars

    The output is similar to this:

    NAME            READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
    envar-demo      1/1       Running   0          9s
  3. Get a shell to the container running in your Pod:

    kubectl exec -it envar-demo -- /bin/bash
  4. In your shell, run the printenv command to list the environment variables.

    root@envar-demo:/# printenv

    The output is similar to this:

    DEMO_GREETING=Hello from the environment
  5. To exit the shell, enter exit.

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