If you use UNIX, you probably use csh to type commands even if you've never heard of it. It's the standard shell (command line) on most UNIX systems. tcsh is an enhanced version that's freely available and highly recommended.
Using csh & tcsh describes from the beginning how to use these shells interactively. More important, it shows how to get your work done faster with less typing. Even if you've used UNIX for years, techniques described in this book can make you more efficient.
You'll learn how to:
Make your prompt tell you where you are (no more pwd)
Use what you've typed before (history)
Type long command lines with very few keystrokes (command and filename completion)
Remind yourself of filenames when in the middle of typing a command
Edit a botched command instead of retyping it
This book does not cover programming or script writing in csh or
tcsh because the tasks are better done with a different shell, such as sh (the Bourne shell) or a language like Perl.
Learning the Basics
Chapter 1 Introduction
Using the Examples
Selecting a Login Shell
Before You Read Further
Chapter 2 A Shell Primer
Command Input and Output
Files and Directories
Running Commands in the Background
When Do Spaces Matter?
The Shell Startup Files
Chapter 3 Using the Shell Effectively
Reusing and Editing Commands
Creating Command Shortcuts
Using Command Substitution
Navigating the File System
Using Your Prompt
Using Job Control
Becoming More Efficient
Chapter 4 The Shell Startup Files
Startup and Shutdown Files
Getting To Know .cshrc and .login
Modifying .cshrc and .login
Organizing Your Startup Files
The .logout File
Chapter 5 Setting Up Your Terminal
Identifying Your Terminal Settings
What the Settings Mean
Changing Your Terminal Settings
Did Your Terminal Stop Working?
Chapter 6 Using Your Command History
The History List
Reviewing Your History
Using Commands from Your History
Making History Persist Across Login Sessions
Chapter 7 The tcsh Command-Line Editor
Editing a Command
Command Key Bindings
emacs Editing Mode
vi Editing Mode
Examining and Modifying Key Bindings
Chapter 8 Using Aliases To Create Command Shortcuts
is one of the primary contributors to the MySQL Reference Manual, a renowned online manual that has supported MySQL administrators and database developers for years, now available in an attractive paper format from the O'Reilly Community Press. He is also the author of Using csh & tcsh and Software Portability with imake by O'Reilly, as well as MySQL and MySQL and Perl for the Web by New Riders.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal featured on the cover of Using csh & tcsh is an oystercatcher, a wading shore bird that is found on every continent but Antarctica. This striking-looking bird has sharply contrasting black and white plumage, scarlet irises, and a long, bright orange bill that is compressed along the sides.
Most oystercatchers form permanent pair bonds. Their breeding grounds are usually a short distance inland from their feeding grounds, and many pairs return to the same breeding ground each spring. The incubation period is 25 to 28 days, with an average of three eggs per clutch. Oystercatchers are unusual among shore birds in that they feed their young for the first six weeks or so.
The diet of oystercatchers consists mainly of bivalve mollusks, such as cockles, mussels, and oysters, crabs, periwinkles, lugworms, and earthworms. Chicks learn to hunt for worms as young as six weeks, using the Herbst's corpuscles, tactile organs on their bills, to locate them in the sand. However, it can take years for an oystercatcher to perfect the technique of opening mollusk shells.
There are two methods of opening mollusk shells: hammering and stabbing. In hammering, the shell is carried to a rock and repeatedly hammered until opened. In stabbing, the oystercatcher uses its long bill to pry open a shell that is agape and to sever the adductor muscles that clamp the shell shut. Individual oystercatchers are either hammerers or stabbers, depending on the method they were taught when young. Similarly, oystercatchers are either mollusk eaters or crab eaters, again depending on their upbringing. Mollusk-eating chicks have been known to be frightened by crabs. UNIX and its attendant programs can be unruly beasts. Nutshell Handbooks help you tame them.
Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book, using a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. The cover layout was produced with Quark XPress 3.3 using the ITC Garamond font.
The inside layout was designed by Edie Freedman and Nancy Priest and implemented in gtroff by Lenny Muellner. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book. The illustrations that appear in the book were created in Macromedia Freehand 5.0 by Chris Reilley. The colophon was written by Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary.
This book is a great user resource for the cshell and tcshell. It's packed full of time saving shortcuts and has lots of information about setting up the csh & tcsh login scripts. Although this book doesn't have much in the way of programming in those shells, when combined with Unix Power Tools it can be a valuable script maker's tool.
There are many unix shells, and many books about them. However, I've noticed that mainly these books are about shell programming and they are generally concentrated on korn shell. I've found that the korn shell might be great for programming but for interactive use is quite lacking.
The title of the book really reflects the content of the book. This books is about using the shell to be more effective in everyday work. The using aspect is generally skipped or skimmed over in most books or even websites about the various shells. Although tcsh is not the most comprehensive shell (zsh comes to mind) or even the most popular, it is nevertheless a complete shell that will allow you to do 99.9% of what you want to do with a shell. Tcsh is also most likely to be available without installing extra rpms or tarballs. What good is a great shell if you don't know how to use all the features? Tcsh is no-frill user's shell and this book is absolutely great at explaining it. I have also noted the most of the extra but necessary functionalities in zsh or bash such as completion, alias, and history are taken from tcsh. I has found that it give me 99% of the functionality of the z shell. This book explains how to actually customize the shell to make ones life easier with lucid explanation. I actually think that this book will help people understand the features of other shells because although the syntax might be different, the concepts are the same.
Some people might consider the lack of programming in csh a problem, I think that it is actually a big plus. It allows the author to concentrate on the once again using aspect. I'm a programmer and I've found myself using the shell 99.9% of the time versus doing shell programming. In addition, you'll find that csh is probably not the best shell for programming anyway. You can read the classic argument "csh programming considered harmful on the author's website.
Overall, this is one of the rare books that is way underrated. If you really spend the time to read, you will come to appreciate it as a gem in the now overly crowded arena of shell books that doesn't show the power of the unix shells.