Environment Variables

An environment variable is a globally, system-wide defined value that influences the way a process runs on a computer. 

RealFlow's Project Variables Editor gives you an overview of your system's environment variables.

Here is a complete list of all available variables and which information they contain:

RealFlow Application

When RF_10_PATH is active all terminal applications will look for RealFlow under the given path. This way it is very easy to open RealFlow from a shell program without specifying the path to our simulation tool. Instead of this command line string:

prompt>"/Applications/RealFlow 10/RealFlow.app/Contents/MacOS/RealFlow”

you will only need:


The variable expects the correct path to the RealFlow application, for example on OS X:

RF_10_PATH="/Applications/RealFlow 10/RealFlow.app/Contents/MacOS/RealFlow"

GUI Layout

If the operating system’s environment layout variable is defined then the layout is always updated with this variable ignoring your own settings:


For example on Windows:

RFLAYOUTSPATH=C:/Documents and Settings/RFLayouts/standard.lay

Commands, Shelves, Shortcuts

If you are working in a network then it is usually necessary to provide the information about commands, shelves, and shortcuts globally for all RealFlow installations. This way, all users will have access to the same collection of tools. Of course, it is possible to store the three individual files anywhere and point to them with settings under "Preferences". But, for multiple RealFlow licenses this can be a very tedious task. A much more fashionable way is to define environment variables:




For example on Linux:

RF_COM MANDS_FILE_PATH=/mnt/file_server/realflow/RealFlowCommands.xml



When these variables are defined, all RealFlow installations will look for the “RealFlowShortcuts.xml” file under the path specified there.

Python and Startup Scripts

With this environment variable it is also possible to specify additional search paths. This is useful for 3rd party Python modules, because they do not have to be installed under Python’s default directory, but can be anywhere on your hard disk. The creation/modification of environment variables is different for each operating system, so please take a look at your system’s help documents.


RealFlow can execute a Python script directly during startup. The default folder for this RFS file is RealFlow's application folder. With the following environment variable it is also possible to point to any other directory globally:


For example on OS X:

RF_STARTUP_PYTHON_SCRIPT_FILE_PATH="/Applications/RealFlow 2015/startup.rfs"

Default Project

When this environment variable is defined RealFlow will always load the project specified directly after the program's launch.


For example on Windows:

RFDEFAULTPROJECT=”D:/RealFlow Projects/Startup/Hybrido Standard Setup.flw”

Default Project Folder

If the following environment variable is defined in your operating system, the scenes folder is always updated with this variable ignoring the user preference:


For example on Linux:

RFSCENESPATH=/mnt/file_server_name/RF_Scene _Files/

Default Object Folder

By default, RealFlow looks for objects (OBJ, SD or ABC files, for example) in the project's directory's own “object” folder. If you want RealFlow to search for objects in a common folder, please use RFOBJECTSPATH and define the complete path, for example on Linux: