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environment variable

On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:17:17 -0400
"D.E. Chadbourne" <235u at> wrote:

> hi.  what's the best way to set the environment variable globally? 
> i'm screwing this thing up.  below is my lame attempt.  thanks for any
> info, eric.
> [root at mathPlayPen eric]# export 
> PATH="$PATH:/opt/j2sdk_nb/j2sdk1.4.2/jre/bin"
> [root at mathPlayPen eric]# /usr/bin/jedit
> Warning: JAVA_HOME environment variable not set.
> [root at mathPlayPen eric]#
With respect to the other answers and solutions:
You cannot export an environment variable to other processes already
running at the time. The only way another process may inherit an
environment variable is a child process. In the above case, you could
have exported JAVA_HOME before you ran jedit. 
export PATH="$PATH:/opt/j2sdk_nb/j2sdk1.4.2/jre/bin
export JAVA_HOME=/opt/j2sdk_nb/j2sdk1.4.2/jre/lib

Assuming this is the correct location for JAVA_HOME.

Probably the best way to do this is in your .bashrc and/or your
.xsession or best in /etc/profile

On my system it is done when /etc/profile sources

This way you will get all the appropriate JAVA environment variables. 

One of the most confusing issues I find in my Linux class is trying to
explain the difference between environment variables in Unix/Linux and
Windows. In Windows, all envornment variables are global and one process
can side effect another. In Unix/Linux, this cannot occur. 

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix user group PGP key id:C5061EA9
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