OpenWindows Advanced User's Guide

1.2 Your Login Shell

In the chapters that follow, you'll begin entering SunOS commands. When you issue a command to the system, you are actually providing information to a command interpretation program, called a shell. The shell program then reads the information you have provided and causes the proper action to take place within the system.

The default shell for SunOS system software is the Bourne shell, but there are also two other shell programs available within the operating system: the C shell and the Korn shell. Each of these shells has its own unique differences.

Note -

You can get specific information about any SunOS command, including each of the available shells, by viewing its man (manual reference) page. For more information on man pages, see "2.3.1 Displaying Manual Pages with man" in Chapter 2, Basic SunOS Commands.

When you initially log in to the system (or open a new Command Tool or Shell Tool window) and you see your command prompt, it indicates that a shell program has been started for you automatically. This shell is called your login shell. If your login shell is not the SunOS default (the Bourne shell), it is because a different shell (either the C or Korn shell) has been specified for you by your system administrator.

As mentioned, each shell has its differences. Some commands or procedures available when using one shell may not be available when using another. With this in mind, please note that whenever any commands or procedures are presented in this manual that are not available using the default shell for SunOS (the Bourne shell), the sections are clearly marked as such.