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IBM developerWorks: Curtains up: introducing the Z shell

Mar 17, 2001, 19:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Chapman)

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"Most developers and users of Linux come into contact with a UNIX shell sooner or later. This is typically in the form of the Bash shell, or sometimes the C shell, or Tcsh, or the Korn shell(the default on IBM's AIX operating system). They rarely come across the Z shell which can improve the efficiency of your shell interaction, and save some typing! And for those who are reluctant at the prospect of having to learn "a whole new shell", it's worth noting that Zsh is about as close as possible to a superset of all those other shells, so you can get started straightaway."

"The Z shell ("Zsh")is usually found on the system as /bin/zsh. If it is not already on your Linux installation, it can be obtained from the install disks of most distributions. Alternatively it can be downloaded from . Incidentally, it is not tied to Linux - the source can be successfully compiled on most UNIX platforms, including AIX, and numerous binaries are available."

"All of the shell commands and settings covered in this article can be put in a ~/.zshrc file so that they are used every time you start an interactive shell. You can also have a ~/.zshenv file, which is used for both interactive and non-interactive shells (for example shell scripts). See the Zsh documentation for more details of the Zsh startup process."

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