SUMMARY: csh: too many values in environment

From: David Mostardi (
Date: Sat Sep 17 1994 - 02:04:00 CDT

> I have a lot of environment variables in my C-shell.
> So many, in fact, that I'm starting to get the message
> too many values in environment
> How can I increase the size of the environment space in csh?


1. Without source, there's no way to do this in "csh".
     The max number of env variables is hardcoded.

2. There is a known bug in "csh" for both SunOS 4.x and SunOS 5.x.
     The relevant patches are:

        SunOS 4.1.3_U1 Patch-ID# 101461-04
        SunOS Release 5.x Patch-ID# 101610-04

3. Get "tcsh" from Cornell. It comes with source code.
     (I don't know exactly where in it is,
     as Archie doesn't seem to be working for me today.)

4. An excellent point from Dave Woodruff, printed here in full:

     What you do with your environment is, of course, entirely your own
     business, but you might keep in mind that each and every process you
     start - every command, every shell script, every element of a pipe, ...
     needs to make its own copy of the entire environment. The performance
     penalty for these things is obviously not trivial. You might consider
     attempting to set up some sort of hierarchy of the environment variables,
     keeping the collection of variables at each leaf of the hierarchy in a
     shell script of its own, invoked when that set of variables is required.

Thanks to: (Michael Scott)
Dave Fetrow <>
Pete Shipley <> (Peter Samuel) (Perry Hutchison)
"David C. Woodruff" <dcw@WLV.IIPO.GTEGSC.COM>
ref@Esy.COM (Eric Falen)
"J.L. Hall (John)" <> (John Justin Hough)
Lenny Turetsky <>

David Mostardi Email:
Network & Systems Administrator Phone: (510) 540-6400
Capital Market Technology, Inc. FAX: (510) 540-5505
1995 University Ave. #390, Berkeley CA 94704

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