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C-Shell Style Features

The C-Shell (csh) was created by Bill Joy at UC Berkeley. It is generally considered to have better features for interactive use than the original Bourne shell. Some of the csh features present in Bash include job control, history expansion, `protected' redirection, and several variables for controlling the interactive behaviour of the shell (e.g. IGNOREEOF).

Using History Interactively for details on history expansion.

Tilde Expansion

Bash has tilde (~) expansion, similar, but not identical, to that of csh. The following table shows what unquoted words beginning with a tilde expand to.

~ The current value of $HOME. ~/foo $HOME/foo
~fred/foo The subdirectory foo of the home directory of the user fred.

~+/foo $PWD/foo

~- $OLDPWD/foo

Bash will also tilde expand words following redirection operators and words following = in assignment statements.

Brace Expansion

Brace expansion is a mechanism by which arbitrary strings may be generated. This mechanism is similar to pathname expansion (see the Bash manual page for details), but the file names generated need not exist. Patterns to be brace expanded take the form of an optional preamble, followed by a series of comma-separated strings between a pair of braces, followed by an optional postamble. The preamble is prepended to each string contained within the braces, and the postamble is then appended to each resulting string, expanding left to right.

Brace expansions may be nested. The results of each expanded string are not sorted; left to right order is preserved. For example,

a{d,c,b}e

expands into ade ace abe.

Brace expansion is performed before any other expansions, and any characters special to other expansions are preserved in the result. It is strictly textual. Bash does not apply any syntactic interpretation to the context of the expansion or the text between the braces.

A correctly-formed brace expansion must contain unquoted opening and closing braces, and at least one unquoted comma. Any incorrectly formed brace expansion is left unchanged.

This construct is typically used as shorthand when the common prefix of the strings to be generated is longer than in the above example:

mkdir /usr/local/src/bash/{old,new,dist,bugs}

or

chown root /usr/{ucb/{ex,edit},lib/{ex?.?*,how_ex}}

C Shell Builtins

Bash has several builtin commands whose definition is very similar to csh.

  • pushd
    pushd [dir | +n | -n]
    

    Save the current directory on a list and then cd to dir. With no arguments, exchanges the top two directories.

  • +n Brings the nth directory (counting from the left of the list printed by dirs) to the top of the list by rotating the stack.
  • -n Brings the nth directory (counting from the right of the list printed by dirs) to the top of the list by rotating the stack.
  • dir Makes the current working directory be the top of the stack, and then cds to dir. You can see the saved directory list with the dirs command.
  • popd
    popd [+n | -n]
    

    Pops the directory stack, and cds to the new top directory. When no arguments are given, removes the top directory from the stack and cds to the new top directory. The elements are numbered from 0 starting at the first directory listed with dirs; i.e. popd is equivalent to popd +0.

  • +n Removes the nth directory (counting from the left of the list printed by dirs), starting with zero.
  • -n Removes the nth directory (counting from the right of the list printed by dirs), starting with zero.
  • dirs
    dirs [+n | -n] [-l]
    

    Display the list of currently remembered directories. Directories find their way onto the list with the pushd command; you can get back up through the list with the popd command.

  • +n Displays the nth directory (counting from the left of the list printed by dirs when invoked without options), starting with zero.
  • -n Displays the nth directory (counting from the right of the list printed by dirs when invoked without options), starting with zero.
  • -l Produces a longer listing; the default listing format uses a tilde to denote the home directory.
  • history
    history [n] [ [-w -r -a -n] [filename]]
    

    Display the history list with line numbers. Lines prefixed with with a * have been modified. An argument of n says to list only the last n lines. Option -w means write out the current history to the history file; -r means to read the current history file and make its contents the history list. An argument of -a means to append the new history lines (history lines entered since the beginning of the current Bash session) to the history file. Finally, the -n argument means to read the history lines not already read from the history file into the current history list. These are lines appended to the history file since the beginning of the current Bash session. If filename is given, then it is used as the history file, else if $HISTFILE has a value, that is used, otherwise ~/.bash_history is used.

  • logout Exit a login shell.
  • source A synonym for . (see section Bourne Shell Builtins)

C Shell Variables

  •  
  • IGNOREEOF If this variable is set, it represents the number of consecutive EOFs Bash will read before exiting. By default, Bash will exit upon reading a single EOF.
  • cdable_vars If this variable is set, Bash treats arguments to the cd command which are not directories as names of variables whose values are the directories to change to.

 

 

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