Using csh & tcsh
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 1995
Pages: 244

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.

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5.0

Using csh & tcsh Review

By Robert Ramsey

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Using csh & tcsh:

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.

 
5.0

Using csh & tcsh Review

By Ed Yu

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Using csh & tcsh:

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.

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