-bash: export: `=': not a valid identifier

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Every time I open my terminal I get the error below:

Last login: Sun Aug  4 17:23:05 on ttys000
-bash: export: `=': not a valid identifier
-bash: export: `/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/mysql/bin': not a valid identifier
-bash: export: `=': not a valid identifier
-bash: export: `/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/mysql/bin': not a valid identifier

And here is my export output:

Calvin:~ sunkehappy$ export
declare -x Apple_PubSub_Socket_Render="/tmp/launch-4lEZNa/Render"
declare -x Apple_Ubiquity_Message="/tmp/launch-ukGAv5/Apple_Ubiquity_Message"
declare -x COMMAND_MODE="unix2003"
declare -x HOME="/Users/sunkehappy"
declare -x LANG="zh_CN.UTF-8"
declare -x LOGNAME="sunkehappy"
declare -x OLDPWD
declare -x PATH="/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin"
declare -x PWD="/Users/sunkehappy"
declare -x SECURITYSESSIONID="186a4"
declare -x SHELL="/bin/bash"
declare -x SHLVL="1"
declare -x SSH_AUTH_SOCK="/tmp/launch-YAEryC/Listeners"
declare -x TERM="xterm-256color"
declare -x TERM_PROGRAM="Apple_Terminal"
declare -x TERM_PROGRAM_VERSION="309"
declare -x TERM_SESSION_ID="B134A404-D87F-4BB9-8A08-55F8CE923339"
declare -x TMPDIR="/var/folders/kt/pfw99tps22gg2019vz8k1zcm0000gn/T/"
declare -x USER="sunkehappy"
declare -x __CF_USER_TEXT_ENCODING="0x1F5:25:52"

You cannot put spaces around the = sign when you do:

export foo=bar

Remove the spaces you have and you should be good to go.

If you type:

export foo = bar

the shell will interpret that as a request to export three names: foo, = and bar. = isn't a valid variable name, so the command fails. The variable name, equals sign and it's value must not be separated by spaces for them to be processed as a simultaneous assignment and export.

var_export - Manual, 7.3.0, Now exports stdClass objects as an array cast to an object ( (object) NOTE: The only issue is when a string value has `=>\n[`, it will get converted to `= > [` Export definition is - to carry away : remove. How to use export in a sentence.

I faced the same error and did some research to only see that there could be different scenarios to this error. Let me share my findings.

Scenario 1: There cannot be spaces beside the = (equals) sign

$ export TEMP_ENV = example-value
-bash: export: `=': not a valid identifier
// this is the answer to the question

$ export TEMP_ENV =example-value
-bash: export: `=example-value': not a valid identifier

$ export TEMP_ENV= example-value
-bash: export: `example-value': not a valid identifier

Scenario 2: Object value assignment should not have spaces besides quotes

$ export TEMP_ENV={ "key" : "json example" } 
-bash: export: `:': not a valid identifier
-bash: export: `json example': not a valid identifier
-bash: export: `}': not a valid identifier

Scenario 3: List value assignment should not have spaces between values

$ export TEMP_ENV=[1,2 ,3 ]
-bash: export: `,3': not a valid identifier
-bash: export: `]': not a valid identifier

I'm sharing these, because I was stuck for a couple of hours trying to figure out a workaround. Hopefully, it will help someone in need.

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I had the same problem and figured it out from your comments, but thought I would add the reason I caused the error to occur (for other beginners).

I had opened and edited .bash_profile using the open command in Terminal, which opened it in Text Editor. I typed in an addition to .bash_profile and it used improper quote characters. I opened .bash_profile in Atom and fixed up the error. I also associated the file with Atom for future editing.

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Try to surround the path with quotes, and remove the spaces

export PYTHONPATH="/home/user/my_project":$PYTHONPATH

And don't forget to preserve previous content suffixing by :$PYTHONPATH (which is the value of the variable)

Execute the following command to check everything is configured correctly:


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Importing and Exporting, Learn how to start importing or exporting. On This Page. Importing and Exporting Basics; Obtain an Import License or Permit; Get an Export� Afghanistan has emerged as Pakistan’s top mango export destination for the current season, while UAE, Iran and Oman also remained among prominent international markets for Pakistani mangoes. The exports to Afghanistan were recorded at 46,276 tonnes, while those to UAE, Iran and Oman clocked in at 33,000 tonnes, 17,956 tonnes and 11,459 tonnes

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  • How can I fix it? I mean those error occur when I open the terminal. I guess this is a error in the configuration file but I don't know where it is.
  • I know it. I have edited my ./bash_profile before. Now I fix by editing it again. Thanks.
  • I wanted to add Google Chrome to my Path, and the path contains a white space, e.g. /Applications/Google Chrome.app/Contents/MacOS And I was getting this error. To fix it, I had to enclose the path in " "