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Windows

Windows makes this task anything but intuitive for beginners. Basically, the system path allows you and other executables to access programs when they aren't in the same directory as the command-line is. This allows you to access a program without typing in its location.

Control Panel

Navigate to your control panel. On most computers you:

  • Click on the Start button on the task-bar
  • Click "Control Panel"
  • Category view:
    • Click "Performance and Maintenance"
    • Under the heading "or pick a Control Panel icon", click "System"
  • Classic view:
    • Double click "System"

System Properties

  • Click the "Advanced" tab
  • Click the "Environment Variables" button near the bottom.
  • Select "Path" in the list titled "System Variables"
  • Press the edit button and a "Edit System Variable" window should appear
  • I usually add paths to the front by inserting before the beginning of the text, adding a ';', and pasting in the full path to boo\bin.

For example, a portion of my system path looks like:

E:\boo\bin;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem

Most people have fairly large system paths (especially developers <grin>), and you should leave everything as it is and just add in your semicolon and path. Adding things to the system path is a very good thing to know how to do, as it speeds up command line usage, and is handy for fixing problems in programs that require a directory to be in the system path.

Now, rather than typing:

cd boo\examples\
E:\boo\bin\booi.exe hello.boo

You can type:

cd boo\examples
booi hello.boo

Cool, eh?