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These feats are primarily accomplished by special files which are automatically executed each time you login.The names of the files may vary depending on the type of shell you are using.

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Actually, it isn¢ € ™t that hard to assign a value to a variable.

First, determine if the variable is a shell or environment variable.

The simplest way of telling which shell you are using is by looking at your prompt: if it is a %, then you are probably using a C or T shell.

If it is a $, for example, then you are using either the Bourne or Korn shell. If you cannot tell from the prompt, then at the prompt, type finger yourid; where yourid is your actual user id.

You can find discussions of the above, respectively, in the Unix: Getting Started (cus01) and Unix: Data Tools (cus02) classes and the corresponding handouts which are available at the Training Center on the fourth floor of Hanes Hall.

The kind of shell you use is the single most important setting determining your environment. Each of them has different capabilities and drawbacks.So the .login is a good place to store environmental variables, since these will need to be reinitialized every time you start a new shell.On the other hand, for every new C shell you start all the commands in your .cshrc are executed.Other possible shell indicators are tcsh for T shell, ksh for Korn shell, and sh for Bourne shell 3. Although this may make Unix seem arcane and complex, don¢ € ™t be put off by words such as “variable” and “script.” Those same qualities, which in Macintosh and Windows make it so easy also limit your options.In comparison, as a Unix user, you have access to virtually every important setting for your environment. Most of your settings are stored in a list of variables.This should produce an output like the following (it may look somewhat different depending on your configuration): The field which concerns us is the Shell field: this tells us what shell runs when we login to the system. Unlike using Windows or Mac operating systems, there are no convenient buttons or slider switches for changing your settings.

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