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The TC Shell

The tcsh shell is an enhanced and completely compatible variation of the Berkeley UNIX C shell, csh(1). You can use tcsh as an interactive login shell and a shell script command processor. It includes a command-line editor, programmable word completion, spelling correction, a history mechanism, job control, and a C-like syntax.

Reviewing TC Shell Initialization Files

tcsh, when invoked as an interactive login shell, executes commands from the /etc/csh.cshrc and /etc/csh.login files. It then executes commands from files in the user's home directory, in the following order.

  • ~/.tshrc

  • ~/.cshrc (if /.tcshrc is not found)

  • ~/.history (or the value of the histfile shell variable)

  • ~/.login

  • ~/.cshdirs (or the value of the dirsfile shell variable)

Depending on how the shell is compiled, it may read /etc/csh.login before /etc/csh.cshrc, and ~/.login before ~/.tcshrc or ~/.cshrc and ~/.history.

When you start an interactive shell that is not a login shell, only /etc/csh.cshrc and ~/.tcshrc or ~/.cshrc are read on startup.

Refer to the tcsh(1) manual page for complete information.


NOTE. The Solaris Operating Environment does not provide default csh.cshrc or csh.login files.


An excellent tcsh shell programming reference is Using csh and tcsh, by Paul DuBois, O'Reilly & Associates, 1995.

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