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how do I set an environment variable in my .profile file that takes into account if the variable exists and appends to it?

To explain:

I want to do

export ANT_OPTS=-Dparam=value 

but if the ANT_OPTS already exists I want to append to it.

I want to do something similar to

set ANT_OPTS=%ANT_OPTS% -Dparam=value 

in Windows.

How do I create it or append to it if it already exists?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted


export ANT_OPTS="$ANT_OPTS -Dparam=value"

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it worked like a charm. I was trying export ANT_OPTS=$ANT_OPTS -Dparam=value but it didn't work. It didn't occur to me to also add the quotes. Thanks! – user12345 Aug 26 '10 at 7:27
You're welcome Please mark the answer as accepted, then. :) – Janne Pikkarainen Aug 26 '10 at 7:31
Done! Thanks again! – user12345 Aug 26 '10 at 7:44

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