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Environment Variables

What are environment variables?

Environment variables tell the computer how you want it to work, in a way that any program can access. The most common is the Path Variable, which is a list of directories to search for a program in when you're trying to run it. You will also encounter the Class Path frequently when working with java. By convention, environment variables have all-uppercase names.

You may also find it useful to set Java Home? and jEdit Home.

Setting Environment Variables

Windows XP

  1. Go to the 'Advanced' tab of the 'System' control panel
  2. Click the 'Environment Variables' button at the bottom
  3. If you're setting up java for yourself, use the 'User properties for ___' panel

Use ';' to separate path elements
Use %JAVA_HOME% syntax to access the values of environment variables

Note: Changes will not affect open command prompts.

Linux/FreeBSD/Mac OS X

Bash
  1. edit your .bashrc or .bash_profile
  2. add a line like export VARNAME=value for each variable you want to set

Use ':' to separate path elements
Use $JAVA_HOME syntax to access the values of environment variables

Note: Changes will take effect the next time you login/open a terminal. You can run the .bashrc or .bash_profile after editing make changes affect the current session.

Note: I believe Bash became the default shell in Mac OS X 10.3, before that it was tcsh.)

Topic EnvironmentVariables . { Edit | Attach | Ref-By | Printable | Diffs | r1.8 | > | r1.7 | > | r1.6 | More }
Revision r1.8 - 29 Jan 2004 - 22:30 GMT - Brad Mace
Parents: Web Home
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Know.EnvironmentVariables moved from Know.SettingEnvironmentVariables on 28 Aug 2003 - 22:02 by TWiki Guest - put it back