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The following environment variables are used by all XicTools
If found in the environment when WRspice starts, it is expected to
contain a path to the WRspice installation area or equivalent,
which defaults to ``/usr/local/xictools/wrspice''. This
overrides XT_PREFIX if that environment variable is also found.
There is an important subtlety when using this variable. Although it
allows WRspice to find its startup files anywhere, only the
directory structure implied by XT_PREFIX, that is, for
is compatible with the program installation script. The variable is
perhaps useful for pointing WRspice toward a secondary set of
startup files, perhaps heavily customized by the user, which may
reside in an arbitrary location.
When WRspice starts, it creates a ``named pipe'', otherwise known
as a fifo (see 3.16.11). Text written to the fifo is piped into
WRspice, as if input with the source command. If this
variable is found in the environment, the text of this variable is
taken as the base name for the fifo, instead of ``wrsfifo''. In
Unix/Linux, this name can have a full path. All components of the
path except for the file name must exist. If there is a conflict with
an existing entity, an integer suffix will be added to make the name
unique. In Windows, any path given is stripped and ignored.
All of the XicTools programs respond to the XT_PREFIX
environment variable. When the tools are installed in a non-standard
location, i.e., other than /usr/local, this can be set to the
directory prefix which effectively replaces ``/usr/local'', and
the programs will be able to access the installation library files
without further directives. This should not be needed under Windows,
as the Registry provides the default paths.
If the variable XTNETDEBUG is defined, Xic and WRspice
will echo interprocess messages sent and received to the console. In
server mode, Xic will not go into the background, but will remain
in the foreground, printing status messages while servicing requests.
This can be set to the full path to the KLU (sparse matrix solver)
plug-in. For example, this path by default in a Linux installation is
The plug-in is found automatically so this variable is needed only for
The KLU version changed in wrspice-4.2.7, and the plug-ins are not
compatible. Current WRspice releases will not load the old
plug-in, however older releases will load a new plug-in if found in
the default location, which will likely cause a program crash. This
variable can be set in this case to avoid the problem.
Linux and FreeBSD releases can use an included local memory allocation
package. In earlier WRspice releases, this allocator, rather than
the allocator provided by the operating system, was used by default.
In 32-bit releases, the local allocator was often able to allocate
more memory than the allocators provided by the operating system. It
also provided custom error reporting and statistics.
This feature is now disabled, as in modern operating systems there is
dubious benefit, and it can produce stability problems in some cases.
However, if this variable is set in the environment when WRspice is
started, the local allocator will be used. The interested user is
encouraged to experiment.
This variable was once used to disable the internal local memory
allocator, which in earlier releases was enabled by default.
Currently, this variable is ignored.
When set, no extra space is allowed around pushbutton contents in the
graphical interface. Such space can cause menu button images to
be truncated on low-resolution displays if the theme in use imposes
too much space. Setting this variable is a quick fix for this
problem, though one could also change the theme.
If set in the environment on program startup, the program will skip
attempting to communicate with the site hosting the distribution
repository to check for messages and updates.
When checking for updates with the site hosting the distribution
repository and an error occurs, if this variable is set then a message
will be emitted. Otherwise, failure is silent.
There are several environment variables which can be used to alter
some of the WRspice defaults. On startup, WRspice checks for the
following variables in the environment, and alters internal defaults
accordingly. The defaults can be modified when the program is built,
the defaults listed below are those assigned in the distribution.
This is used only in the Microsoft Windows version, and can be set to
a full directory path which will be taken as the user's home
This variable defines the X window system display that WRspice will
use, but is ignored if the -d option is used on the WRspice
command line. The display must be specified for graphics to be
enabled in WRspice.
If defined to the invoking string for a text editor, that editor will
be used in the edit command. This is superseded by the SPICE_EDITOR variable, if set.
The text editor called by the edit command can be set with this
variable. The variable is defined to the command string one would
type to invoke the editor. This will supersede the EDITOR
variable, if set, but which would otherwise have the same effect. If
no editor is specified in the environment, or with the editor
shell variable, which supersedes the environment variables, a default
internal editor is used. The default internal editor can also be
specified by setting SPICE_EDITOR to nothing, ``default'',
This specifies a directory to use for temporary files, and is
superseded by SPICE_TMP_DIR, if defined. The default location
if not specified is /tmp.
When WRspice creates a temporary file, it will look for a directory named
by the SPICE_TMP_DIR environment variable, and if not found the
directory named in the TMPDIR variable, and if still not found
the file will be created in /tmp.
This variable can be used to define the directory containing the
XicTools binaries, used by the aspice command and the wrspiced daemon. If not set, the default is ``/usr/local/xictools/bin'', or, if XT_PREFIX is set, its
value replaces ``/usr/local''.
This can be used to set the full path to the WRspice executable,
for the aspice command and the wrspiced daemon. If not
set, the default is ``/usr/local/xictools/bin/wrspice'',
or, if XT_PREFIX is set, its value replaces ``/usr/local''. The SPICE_EXEC_DIR variable can also be used
for this purpose, unless the wrspice executable has been
renamed. The spicepath shell variable, if set, will override
the path set in the environment.
This variable can be used to change the default location where
WRspice looks for system startup files. If not set, the internal
default is ``/usr/local/xictools/wrspice/startup'', or, if
XT_PREFIX is set, its value replaces ``/usr/local''.
This can be set to a list of directories to search for input files and
scripts. If not set, the internal default is ``( .
/usr/local/xictools/wrspice/scripts )'', or, if XT_PREFIX
is set, its value replaces ``/usr/local''.
This can be set to a list of directories to search for help database
files. If not set, the internal default is ``(
/usr/local/xictools/wrspice/help )'', or, if XT_PREFIX is
set, its value replaces ``/usr/local''. This is superseded by
the helppath shell variable, if set.
This variable can be set to the full path to a text file which is
printed when WRspice starts. If not set, the file /usr/local/xictools/wrspice/startup/news will be printed, if it
exists (if XT_PREFIX is set, its value replaces ``/usr/local'').
This variable can be set to an internet mail address to use in the bug
reporting command. If not set, the built in default is the Whiteley
Research technical support address.
This variable can be defined to a character that will be used to flag
options on the WRspice command line. If not defined, the option
character is ``-
If this variable is defined to ``0'' (zero), or to a word starting
with `f' or `F' such as ``False'', or `n' or
`N' such as ``No'', WRspice will create binary
plot-data files (rawfiles). If not set or set to something else,
WRspice will create the default ASCII-format rawfiles. The filetype shell variable can also be used to set the mode, which will
supersede the environment variable. The rawfiles are normally created
with the write command.
This variable can be used to set the host name to use for remote SPICE
runs. The host name can optionally be suffixed by a colon followed by
the port number to use for communication with the wrspiced
daemon. If not given, the port is obtained from the operating system
for ``wrspice/tcp'', or 6114 (the IANA registered port number
for this service) if this is not defined. There is no default for
this variable. Hosts can also be specified with the rhost
command, and given with the rhost shell variable.
This variable is used by the wrspiced daemon program to set an
alternate path for the log file. The default path is /tmp/wrspiced.log.
If the variable SPICENOMAIL is set, no mail will be sent during
a program crash. If a fatal error is encountered, a file named ``gdbout'' is created in the current directory, which contains a stack
backtrace from the stack frame of the error. Despite the name, the
file is generated internally on all platforms, and no longer makes use
of the gdb program.
By default, this file will be emailed to Whiteley Research for
analysis. However, the emailing can be suppressed by setting this
variable in the environment. The gdbout file is produced in any
case, and would be very useful to Whiteley Research for fixing program
This has the same effect as SPICENOMAIL but also prevents email
from the Xic program.
Next: Sparse Matrix Package
Up: Environment Variables
Previous: Microsoft Windows
Stephen R. Whiteley