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LSH is a simple implementation of a shell in C, and it is the subject of a tutorial on my website. It demonstrates the basics of how a shell works. That is: read, parse, fork, exec, and wait. Since its purpose is demonstration (not feature completeness or even fitness for casual use), it has many limitations, including:

  • Commands must be on a single line.
  • Arguments must be separated by whitespace.
  • No quoting arguments or escaping whitespace.
  • No piping or redirection.
  • Only builtins are: cd, help, exit.


Use gcc -o lsh src/main.c to compile, and then ./lsh to run. If you would like to use the standard-library based implementation of lsh_read_line(), then you can do: gcc -DLSH_USE_STD_GETLINE -o lsh src/main.c.


Since this is the subject of a tutorial, I'm not looking to extend it with additional features at this time. So I won't be accepting any pull requests that aren't related to bug fixes (and I'm sure there are still bugs in the code!).

However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't play with the code, make changes, and explore new features! That's the whole point of this project! It's just that other people are doing the same thing, and this project is merely a starting point for your own exploration.

On that note, I would be just tickled if you dropped me a line (see my website for contact info) to show me the cool new features you've added!


This code is in the public domain (see UNLICENSE for more details). This means you can use, modify, and distribute it without any restriction. I appreciate, but don't require, acknowledgement in derivative works.

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