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Setting your Java CLASSPATH variable

If you want to use Java classes other than the standard Java library classes (like Scanner) and the classes that are in your current directory, you need to set your Java CLASSPATH variable.

Suppose you had created a class named "Canvas" and that you wanted to use it in serveral projects. You may want to put Canvas.class (and all your other shared classes) in a separate directory. Start by creating a directory for your shared classes. Open a unix terminal window and create the directory:

Engelbart> mkdir ~/myclasses

To tell Java where to find the file Canvas.class, you need to set your CLASSPATH variable in a file in your home directory called ".cshrc". Edit ~/.cshrc:

Engelbart> nedit ~/.cshrc &

Then add the following line to the bottom of the file:

setenv CLASSPATH ~/myclasses:.

Note the . at the very end. This tells Java to look in the current directory for class files as well.

Now save ~/.cshrc and either close all your open terminal windows and reopen them or type the following in all the terminal windows in which you need the CLASSPATH set:

Engelbart> source ~/.cshrc

To see whether the CLASSPATH was set properly, in a terminal window, you can type:

Engelbart> echo $CLASSPATH

Note: The echo will replace the "~" with the whole path to your home directory.