O'Reilly logo

Using csh & tcsh by Paul DuBois

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 10. Filename and Programmed Completion

In This chapter:

  • Using Built-In Filename Completion

  • Programmed Completions

  • Syntax of the complete Command

  • Displaying and Removing Programmed Completions

  • When Programmed Completions Do Not Apply

The shell can do some typing for you, by performing filename completion. You type a filename prefix, hit a special key, and the shell supplies the rest of the filename.

csh and tcsh both have built-in filename completion. tcsh has command-name completion as well, and allows you to program your own types of completion on a per-command basis (when the built in completion facilities don't perform as needed). For example, you can tell tcsh to complete an argument to mail as a username rather than as a filename, or to complete arguments to cd using only directory names.

Using Built-In Filename Completion

In tcsh, filename completion is always active: just type the first part of a name and hit the TAB key. tcsh determines which name matches the prefix, and types out the rest for you. If you have a file named experiment.data, you can type its name quickly, like this:

% more ex                        Type the prefix ex, then hit TAB
% more experiment.data           Shell types rest of name

In csh, you hit ESC rather than TAB after typing the prefix. Also, filename completion isn't active unless you ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required