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Part: V Appendixes > Understanding the DOS Environment

Understanding the DOS Environment

The environment is a small area in memory that DOS sets aside for storing text variables. Normally, you set the size of the master environment area with a SHELL = statement in your CONFIG.SYS file. The default size of the environment is 256 bytes, but you almost certainly want to increase this size as you begin to use environment variables to automate your daily tasks.

Each variable in the environment consists of two parts: the name of the variable, which DOS stores in uppercase characters, and the contents of the variable, which is the text associated with the variable. Normally, you view, create, and replace environment variables by using the SET command. The PATH and PROMPT commands store their settings in the environment. MS-DOS automatically creates certain environment variables, such as COMSPEC and CONFIG, when you start up your computer.


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