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We are editing ~/.bashrc with command: /home/user> sudo gedit .bashrc

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Command used to set the variable? Can you use the terminal command line to read the variable? – Isaac Rabinovitch Oct 25 '12 at 8:20
Are you exporting the variable: export VARIABLE=value? – Pedro Romano Oct 25 '12 at 8:35

If you set a variable in ~/.bashrc, this file has to be sourced again; typically by logging in again.

If you do not wish to permanently set this variable, set it in the terminal, without editing ~/.bashrc.

In any case, don't forget to use export.

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