Jan 2, 2012

How to Setup the Environment

You need to configure your particular system after downloading the JDK. The most important step after downloading and extracting the JDK is setting the path and class path.

 Setting up the path:

 Windows 2000/XP/7 users may set their path by right-clicking on 'My Computer' and selecting 'Properties'. Under the 'Advanced' tab, there is a button that allows you to set the 'Environment variables'. Click on this and alter the 'Path' variable so that it also contains the path to the Java executable. For example, if you have installed Java in c:\jdk and your path is currently set to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32, then you would change your path to read C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32;c:\jdk\bin
When you open a new command prompt, it will reflect these changes and allow you to run java programs by typing "java". If you have installed the SDK, then you will also be able to run "javac" to compile stuff. 

Windows 95/98/ME users may find that their path variable is stored in a different place. Edit the c:\autoexec.bat file and add the following line at the end: SET PATH=%PATH%;c:\jdk\bin
(This also assumes that you have installed Java in c:\jdk)
Linux, UNIX, Solaris, FreeBSD users must set their PATH variable to point to where the java binaries have been installed. Please refer to your shell documentation if you have trouble doing this. For example, if you use bash as your shell, then you would add the following line to the end of your .bashrc: export PATH=/path/to/java:$PATH

 Setting up the classpath
In addition to setting up the path, you also need to tell Java where to find compiled class files at runtime. You will probably want to set the classpath to include at least the current working directory (.)
The classpath can also contain other directories that may contain compiled class files. Note that if you are using classes that are contained inside a .jar file, you will need to specify the full path and name of this file in the classpath, rather than just the name of the directory it is contained within.


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