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Add entry to PATH environment?

Katherine Ana

Joined: May 17, 2008
Posts: 1
I am learning java from a book and it says:

"...you need to add entry to your PATH environment variable that points to the /bin directory inside the main Java directory. For example, if the J2SDK put a directory on your drive called "j2sdk.1.5.0" look inside that directory and you'll find the "bin" directory where the Java binaries live. The bin directory i the one you need a path to, so when you type: "% javac" at the command line your terminal will know how to find the javac compiler."

But I'm not exactly sure what this is telling me to do. Any help would be awesome, thanks!
Campbell Ritchie

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38075
Welcome to JavaRanch.
Is Ana your real last name?

The PATH problem causes more difficulties to beginners than almost anything else. What it means is that your OS will go and look for a program called "java" or "javac" and the PATH tells it where to look.
Read this Common Problems page from the Java Tutorials, particularly the bit about "java is not recognised etc" and where it tells you how to set the PATH permanently. If you are on Windows, the entry will begin with the drive letter (probably C) and end with bin, so a common entry would be "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_06\bin".
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