SUMMARY: environment variables

Date: Tue May 03 1994 - 16:08:04 CDT

Thank to all of you! (List below). Here the solution (original posting below)
as stated by many of you:

This patch has just been released for this exact problem.

Patch-ID# 101610-01
Keywords: csh variable character
Synopsis: SunOS 5.3: csh variable name limited to 18 characters, instead of 20
Date: Apr/07/94
Problem Description:
1023533 csh variable name limited to 18 characters, instead of 20
The csh(1) man page indicates that a "variable name consists
of up to 20 letters and digits ...". However, if an attempt
is made to use a variable name of over 18 characters, a
"Variable syntax" error results.

 Apply patch 101071-03 for 4.1.3 and 101461-02 for 4.1.3_U1.


others suggested using tcsh instead: to be found for instance in


Thanks to: (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services) (George Pallas)
Daniel Pommert <> or
Ian Reddy <> (Stephen E. Kirkpatrick)
Adam Shostack <>
Rich Schultz <> (David J. Knight)

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>From Tue May 3 00:55:06 1994
Date: Mon, 2 May 94 16:13:27 +0200
Subject: environment variables

Hallo all.
I discovered that in the csh the environment variables cannot be longer than
18 characters. In the manual pages for csh I found:

  Variable Substitution
     The C shell maintains a set of variables, each of which is
     composed of a name and a value. A variable name consists of
     up to 20 letters and digits, and starts with a letter (the
     underscore is considered a letter).
    setenv [ VAR [ word ] ]
               With no arguments, setenv displays all environment
               variables. With the VAR argument sets the
               environment variable VAR to have an empty (null)
No mention of the limit of 18 characters.
I had the following behavior:

% setenv XUSERFILESEARCHPATH /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults
Variable syntax.
XUSERFILESEARCHPAT: Undefined variable.
% setenv XUSERFILESEARCHPAT /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults

The "variable syntax" message shows that the "H" at the end is considered as
another parameter.

Where is this behavior (max 18 char) described? What did I miss?

Greeting to all. Ciao Ray

Raymond Ballisti (Ray), ===>e-mail: <====
Electromagnetics Group, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)
Laboratory for Electromagnetic Fields and Microwaves Electronics
ETH-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.
Phone: ++41 1 632 2753; Fax: ++41 1 261 1026

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