The ____ directory contains configuration files that the system uses when the computer starts.

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The `/etc` directory contains configuration files that the system uses when the computer starts. This is a standard directory on Unix-like operating systems, such as Linux and macOS. When the system boots up, it reads the various configuration files within this directory to set up the system environment and start services.

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The directory that contains configuration files used by the system when the computer starts is typically the /etc directory. In Unix-like operating systems, including Linux, the /etc directory is a central location for system-wide configuration files and settings. It holds configuration files and subdirectories that control various aspects of the system and its applications.

For example, important configuration files related to startup processes, network settings, user authentication, and other system-wide settings are often found in the /etc directory. The name "etc" stands for "et cetera," reflecting the fact that it contains miscellaneous system-wide configuration files.

Keep in mind that the specific structure and organization of system directories may vary across different Unix-like operating systems.