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Under what circumstances do we prefix a $ symbol to a Linux/Unix directory name?

For instance:

cd $CVBLOB
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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 19 '11 at 15:53

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export CVBLOB=/tmp; cd $CVBLOB -> you will end up in /tmp –  mihi May 19 '11 at 16:32
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The $ prefix means that the value is an environment variable.

For more information, see this article explaining environment variables in Linux.

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So does it mean that the directory CVBLOB directly gets added to $PATH? –  amal antony May 19 '11 at 15:32
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No, it means $CVBLOB is a variable in and of itself. Open up a terminal and type env. It'll show you a list of all the environment variables found. The $PATH variable is just one, although it's probably the most common. –  Zach Rattner May 19 '11 at 15:33
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@user761350: No. And CVBLOLB is not a directory, it is a variable. –  user49531 May 19 '11 at 15:33
    
@user761350: No. Maybe your $CVBLOB variable expands to something with, again CVBLOB in the name, like /opt/CVBLOB. But it needn't. So the answer to your original question is 'never'. A variable is prefixed with $, and the name is more or less free to chooose. And it isn't related to the path. You may extend your path with a literal name or an variable, like PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin or PATH=$PATH:/opt/jdk-1.6.20_26/bin` but you have to do it. There is no automatic DIR->VAR-PATH. –  user unknown May 19 '11 at 15:38
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