I would like to set an environment variable so that it is set when I launch a specific Flatpak application, and only set for this application. How do I go about doing this in a permanent manner?

  • And how can I do it non-persistently, actually? Do the usual shell commands of prepending the env variable before the command work?
    – rugk
    Feb 16, 2021 at 20:13
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    Oh I saw -env=VARIABLE_NAME=VARIABLE_VALUE also works with flatpak run. :)
    – rugk
    Feb 16, 2021 at 20:18
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    @rugk I think it's actually --env not -env Oct 13, 2021 at 12:47
  • @robertspierre Oh yes, of course.
    – rugk
    Oct 14, 2021 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


You can do this via the flatpak override command.

To set only one environment variable you can use this syntax:

flatpak override --env=VARIABLE_NAME=VARIABLE_VALUE full.application.Name

To set multiple environment variables you can use this syntax:


This will set it globally and therefore requires you to run the command as root. If you want to do this for your current user, you can add the --user parameter to the command, like so:

flatpak override --user --env=VARIABLE_NAME=VARIABLE_VALUE full.application.Name

Source and further reading: http://docs.flatpak.org/en/latest/flatpak-command-reference.html#flatpak-override

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    (1) I don’t have Flatpak, so I can’t experiment, but are you sure the --env="NAME1=VALUE1 NAME2=VAL2" syntax really works?  I see nothing in the documentation that suggests that it does.  Rather, it suggests --env="NAME1=VALUE1"--env="NAME2=VAL2".  (2) If it works as you describe, I don’t see how you would set an environment variable value that contains space(s) and equal sign(s).  For example, I wonder what --env="RELATIVITY=Einstein says E=mc^2" does. May 13, 2021 at 21:10
  • as @G-ManSays'ReinstateMonica' mentioned --env can be used multiple times and join them with space is not working.
    – Tim Green
    Sep 27, 2021 at 13:11
  • I thought I tested it and saw it work, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll update my answer.
    – Newbyte
    Sep 27, 2021 at 15:33

The Flatseal application lets you set environment variables and other things relating to your installed flatpaks in a convenient fashion if you are GUI sort of person.

  • 4
    This answer could be improved by describing (and showing) how this answers the question. May 13, 2021 at 21:12

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