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Old 01-07-2002, 09:42 PM   #1
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The %PATH% to the e-mail room

Hi folks,
This is my first post. I am new to computers and to linux. The troubles I've been experiencing with computers seem to be so obvious to most people that when I do a search or post (if I can) I usually get Sorry, there were no matches...
So here goes:
What is this "environment variable" thing? What does it have to do with my path? What is my path? What is the difference between a desktop environ and one that allows your computer to find a newly installed program?
Why is it so hard to post on a listing? I have wrote the same question 6 times to 6 different (nachines I'd guess!) people all at the same address. I was having trouble with vim, and was trying to post @ I finnally gave up but they still fill my junk folders up.
I have just joined a linux users group, so maybe next month I'll be able to use a mail listing, newsreader, or whatever the particular expert I talk to decides to call it.
Old 01-08-2002, 01:27 AM   #2
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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The environment variables are the definitions of your system, think of it as an address for example, look you are in NYC for example and you'd like to get to California, what do you use? A map, and then the road write. So the PATH environment variable is like a trip planner for you, when you login and click an icon on your desktop the system is searching the PATH for this particular application you'd like to use. Usually most executables are located in /usr/bin directory but when you login to the system your are in your home directory (usually /home/yourname) and when you execute the program which is in /usr/bin something like vi for instance the PATH is telling the system where it is. This mechanism is working as long as the PATH is pointing to the right place, I would suggest you to get a UNIX or Linux book (the good one I believe is UNIX for Programmers and Users by Graham Glass), it covers the meaning of environment variables in UNIX, different UNIX's shells etc.


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