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I am fairly new to linux and am using fedora 14 (64 bit). I have to install the java media framework for one of my projects. In the installation instructions on their website ( they use the % symbol. I have done some research and googling and can't find what the significance of % is. Does anyone know? I have been able to find just about every other symbol meaning (., .., #, and more). They use it in the following context

Run the command

% /bin/sh ./jmf-2_1_1e-linux-i586.bin

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

% is the command prompt. Like > in DOS, which along with the current working directory might appear as C:\>.

You can actually change this to be anything that you like, but % is the default for a regular user account under the csh or zsh shell. The shell is the program that displays the command line, reads what you type, and executes the command. The sh or bash shells use $ for their command prompts.

If you are logged in as root (the admin or superuser account), most shells change the prompt character to #, to remind you that you better be careful about what you type.

So, when you see % foobar in documentation, it just means open a terminal window, type foobar, and hit enter.

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So it just means open up the terminal and type the command that follows it? – Ben Jan 28 '11 at 1:49
Yep. If it says % foobar then you open a terminal window and type foobar. – benzado Jan 28 '11 at 1:50
% is the default in the csh and zsh shells, while sh and bash use $ for mortals. – grawity Jan 28 '11 at 6:41
@grawity, thanks for pointing that out, I updated the answer. – benzado Jan 29 '11 at 22:56

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