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As an alternative to using system properties or controller-info.xml to configure the agent, you can use environment variables. Environment variables allow agent identity settings to be populated with dynamic environments which may be unique for the JVM.  

About Environment Variables

To configure the agent with environment variables, set the value of the environment variables described below.  Environment variables exist for most of the agent settings you can configure in the controller-info.xml file, such as the application name, node name, and connection settings.  

For example, set the node name for the agent using an environment variable using APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_NODE_NAME. On Linux, you would enter this command: 

export APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_NODE_NAME=node23

When the agent subsequently starts up, the agent takes node23 as its node name. Typically the environment variable would be set as part of the start up routine of the JVM, and populated with values determined at startup. 

Environment Variables Used by the Agent

The Java Agent takes configuration settings from the following environment variables, when set: 

Environment VariableEquivalent property
APPDYNAMICS_CONTROLLER_HOST_NAME<controller-host>
APPDYNAMICS_CONTROLLER_PORT<controller-port>
APPDYNAMICS_CONTROLLER_SSL_ENABLED<controller-ssl-enabled>
APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_APPLICATION_NAME<application-name>
APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_TIER_NAME<tier-name>
APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_NODE_NAME<node-name>
APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_ACCOUNT_NAME<account-name>
APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_ACCOUNT_ACCESS_KEY<account-access-key>
APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_UNIQUE_HOST_IDUnique host name
APPDYNAMICS_AGENT_BASE_DIR<agent-runtime-dir>
APPDYNAMICS_JAVA_AGENT_REUSE_NODE_NAME–Dappdynamics.agent.reuse.nodeName
APPDYNAMICS_JAVA_AGENT_REUSE_NODE_NAME_PREFIXDappdynamics.agent.reuse.nodeName.prefix

Notice that not all configurable agent settings are configurable through environment variables. For those settings, you need to use system properties or controller-info.xml, as described on Java Agent Configuration Properties