Part of the Operating systems glossary:

C shell is the UNIX shell (command execution program, often called a command interpreter ) created by Bill Joy at the University of California at Berkeley as an alternative to UNIX's original shell, the Bourne shell . These two UNIX shells, along with the Korn shell , are the three most commonly used shells. The C shell program name is csh , and the shell prompt (the character displayed to indicate readiness for user input) is the % symbol. The C shell was invented for programmers who prefer a syntax similar to that of the C programming language.

The other popular member of the C shell family is called tcsh (for Tab C shell) and is an extended version of C shell. Some of tcsh's added features are: enhanced history substitution (which allows you to reuse commands you have already typed), spelling correction, and word completion (which allows you to type the first couple of letters in a word and hit the tab key to have the program complete it).

Once considered " bug gy", the C shell has had a number of different versions developed to overcome the flaws in the original program. Most often, only experienced users prefer to use the C shell. C is frequently the default shell at universities and research organizations and is the default on many systems, especially those derived from Berkeley UNIX.

This was last updated in June 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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