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(Note that this file only lists basic shell features, for those who
may not have encountered zsh before. Those familiar with zsh are
unlikely to find anything new here.)
very close to ksh/sh grammar, with csh additions
most features of ksh, bash, and tcsh
can emulate ksh or POSIX sh
100 builtins, 145 options, 166 key bindings
short for loops, ex: for i (*.c) echo $i
shell functions
autoloaded functions (loaded from a file when they are first referenced)
conditional expressions (test builtin, [ ... ], and ksh-style [[ ... ]])
global aliases (may be expanded anywhere on the line)
directory stack access with ~num
process substitution (vi =(cmd) edits the output of cmd)
generalized pipes (ls foo >>(cmd1) 2>>(cmd2) pipes stdout to cmd1
and stderr to cmd2)
arithmetic expressions
advanced globbing:
ls **/file searches recursively for "file" in subdirectories
ls file<20-> matches file20, file21, file22, etc.
ls *.(c|pro) matches *.c and *.pro
ls *(R) matches only world-readable files
ls *.c~lex.c matches all .c files except lex.c
ls (#a1)README matches README with one error, e.g. RADME, REEDME, RAEDME
ls (#ia1)README same but case insensitive
qualifiers in parentheses after globbing expression:
ls *(*@) matches executable files/directories or symlinks
ls *(L0f.go-w.) matches all zero-length files not group or world writable
ls *(om[1,3]) matches the three most recently modified files
ls *(om[2]) matches the second most recently modified file
null command shorthands:
"< file" is same as "more <file"
"> file" is same as "cat >file"
">> file" is same as "cat >>file"
ksh-style coprocesses
automatic file stream teeing (ls >foo >bar puts output in two places)
chpwd() function run every time you change directory (useful for
updating the status line)
job control
csh-style history
full vi line editing, including "c2w" and "y$" and such things
full emacs line editing
line editor is programmable via shell functions
- access and manipulate editor state via builtins and parameters
- user-defined `widgets' behave like other editor functions
- keymap customisation
- example functions provided
incremental history search
magic-space history
spelling correction
array parameters
associative array parameters
tie parameters a la path/PATH, e.g. ld_library_path/LD_LIBRARY_PATH
$MACHTYPE, $VENDOR and $OSTYPE identify the host machine
$LINENO, $RANDOM, $SECONDS, $cdpath, $COLUMNS, $fignore, $HISTCHARS, $mailpath
$UID, $EUID, $GID, $EGID and $USERNAME can be assigned to
with autocd option, typing a directory name by itself is the same as
typing "cd dirname"
incremental path hashing
automatic process time reporting for commands that run over a certain limit
full tcsh-style prompt substitution plus conditional prompt expressions
utmp login/logout reporting
with histverify option, performing csh-style history expansions causes the
input line to be brought up for editing instead of being executed
with sunkeyboardhack option, accidentally typed trailing ` characters
are removed from the input line (for those of you with Sun keyboards :-) )
with KEYBOARD_HACK, any accidentally typed trailing ascii character can be junked
"cd old new" replaces "old" with "new" in directory string
generalized argument completion, new system based on shell functions:
- highly context sensitive
- large (and I mean large) set of completions supplied, from a2ps to zstyle
- partial file path completion
- spelling correction and approximate completion of any completable word
- highly configurable expansion of shell arguments
- completion list colouring [`colorizing' for you lot over there]
- selection of completion elements with the cursor
- full scrolling of lists (in optional module)
- completion of words from the history list
- `styles' feature for versatile configuration
- `tags' feature for choosing completions preferentially
- `match' specifications, allowing e.g.
- variant forms: NO_glob, noglob, _NOGLOB_ all from the keyword glob
- partial-word matches with arbitrary anchors, e.g.
z_t.c -> zle_tricky.c
c.u.s ->
- complete control over case-insensitive matching
- can be defined globally or for individual completions
- bindable special completion functions
menu completion: pressing TAB repeatedly cycles through the possible matches
prompt on right side of screen
directory stacks
history datestamps and execution time records
command scheduling (like at(1), but in the shell's context)
tty mode freezing
up to 9 startup files (but you only need 1 or 2)
really 8-bit clean, and we mean it this time
which -a cmd lists all occurrences of "cmd" in the path
floating point support
dynamically loadable binary modules, supplied modules include
- an FTP client which runs in the shell, with function suite
- math functions
- builtin interface to the `stat' system command
- builtin versions of standard commands (mv, ln, etc.) for emergencies
- special parameters to access internal state of hash tables etc.
- special associative array to access contents of files directly
- profiler for shell functions
- a pseudo-terminal handler, for purposes like `expect'
- builtins for interaction with termcap and terminfo