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NAME

       zshroadmap  -  informal  introduction  to  the  zsh  manual The Zsh Manual, like the shell
       itself, is large and often complicated.  This section of the manual provides some pointers
       to  areas  of  the  shell  that  are likely to be of particular interest to new users, and
       indicates where in the rest of the manual the documentation is to be found.

WHEN THE SHELL STARTS

       When it starts, the shell reads commands from various files.   These  can  be  created  or
       edited to customize the shell.  See the section Startup/Shutdown Files in zsh(1).

       If  no personal initialization files exist for the current user, a function is run to help
       you change some of the most common settings.  It won't appear if  your  administrator  has
       disabled  the  zsh/newuser  module.  The function is designed to be self-explanatory.  You
       can run it by hand with `autoload -Uz zsh-newuser-install; zsh-newuser-install  -f'.   See
       also the section User Configuration Functions in zshcontrib(1).

INTERACTIVE USE

       Interaction  with  the  shell uses the builtin Zsh Line Editor, ZLE.  This is described in
       detail in zshzle(1).

       The first decision a user must make is whether to use the Emacs or Vi editing mode as  the
       keys for editing are substantially different.  Emacs editing mode is probably more natural
       for beginners and can be selected explicitly with the command bindkey -e.

       A history mechanism for retrieving previously typed lines (most simply with the Up or Down
       arrow  keys)  is  available; note that, unlike other shells, zsh will not save these lines
       when the shell exits unless you set appropriate variables, and the number of history lines
       retained by default is quite small (30 lines).  See the description of the shell variables
       (referred to in the documentation  as  parameters)  HISTFILE,  HISTSIZE  and  SAVEHIST  in
       zshparam(1).   Note  that  it's  currently  only  possible  to read and write files saving
       history when the shell is interactive, i.e. it does not work from scripts.

       The shell now supports the UTF-8 character set  (and  also  others  if  supported  by  the
       operating system).  This is (mostly) handled transparently by the shell, but the degree of
       support in terminal emulators is variable.  There is some discussion of this in the  shell
       FAQ,  http://www.zsh.org/FAQ/.   Note  in  particular  that for combining characters to be
       handled the option COMBINING_CHARS needs to  be  set.   Because  the  shell  is  now  more
       sensitive  to  the definition of the character set, note that if you are upgrading from an
       older version of the shell you should ensure that the appropriate  variable,  either  LANG
       (to  affect all aspects of the shell's operation) or LC_CTYPE (to affect only the handling
       of character sets) is set to an appropriate value.  This is true even if you are  using  a
       single-byte character set including extensions of ASCII such as ISO-8859-1 or ISO-8859-15.
       See the description of LC_CTYPE in zshparam(1).

   Completion
       Completion is a feature present in many shells. It allows the user to  type  only  a  part
       (usually the prefix) of a word and have the shell fill in the rest.  The completion system
       in zsh is programmable.  For example, the shell can be set to complete email addresses  in
       arguments  to  the  mail command from your ~/.abook/addressbook; usernames, hostnames, and
       even remote paths in arguments to scp, and so on.  Anything that  can  be  written  in  or
       glued  together  with  zsh  can  be  the source of what the line editor offers as possible
       completions.

       Zsh has two completion systems, an old, so called  compctl  completion  (named  after  the
       builtin  command  that  serves  as  its  complete and only user interface), and a new one,
       referred to as compsys, organized as library of builtin and user-defined  functions.   The
       two  systems  differ  in  their interface for specifying the completion behavior.  The new
       system is more customizable and is  supplied  with  completions  for  many  commonly  used
       commands; it is therefore to be preferred.

       The  completion  system  must  be  enabled  explicitly  when  the  shell starts.  For more
       information see zshcompsys(1).

   Extending the line editor
       Apart from completion, the line editor is highly extensible by means of  shell  functions.
       Some useful functions are provided with the shell; they provide facilities such as:

       insert-composed-char
              composing characters not found on the keyboard

       match-words-by-style
              configuring what the line editor considers a word when moving or deleting by word

       history-beginning-search-backward-end, etc.
              alternative ways of searching the shell history

       replace-string, replace-pattern
              functions for replacing strings or patterns globally in the command line

       edit-command-line
              edit the command line with an external editor.

       See the section `ZLE Functions' in zshcontrib(1) for descriptions of these.

OPTIONS

       The  shell  has  a  large  number  of options for changing its behaviour.  These cover all
       aspects of the shell; browsing the full documentation is  the  only  good  way  to  become
       acquainted with the many possibilities.  See zshoptions(1).

PATTERN MATCHING

       The  shell  has a rich set of patterns which are available for file matching (described in
       the documentation as `filename generation'  and  also  known  for  historical  reasons  as
       `globbing')  and  for  use when programming.  These are described in the section `Filename
       Generation' in zshexpn(1).

       Of particular interest are the following patterns that are not commonly supported by other
       systems of pattern matching:

       **     for matching over multiple directories

       |      for matching either of two alternatives

       ~, ^   the ability to exclude patterns from matching when the EXTENDED_GLOB option is set

       (...)  glob  qualifiers,  included  in parentheses at the end of the pattern, which select
              files by type (such as directories) or attribute (such as size).

GENERAL COMMENTS ON SYNTAX

       Although the syntax of zsh is in ways similar  to  the  Korn  shell,  and  therefore  more
       remotely  to  the  original  UNIX  shell, the Bourne shell, its default behaviour does not
       entirely correspond to those shells.  General shell syntax is introduced  in  the  section
       `Shell Grammar' in zshmisc(1).

       One  commonly  encountered  difference is that variables substituted onto the command line
       are not split into words.  See the description of the shell option  SH_WORD_SPLIT  in  the
       section  `Parameter  Expansion'  in zshexpn(1).  In zsh, you can either explicitly request
       the splitting (e.g. ${=foo}) or use an array when you want a variable to  expand  to  more
       than one word.  See the section `Array Parameters' in zshparam(1).

PROGRAMMING

       The  most  convenient  way  of  adding enhancements to the shell is typically by writing a
       shell function and arranging for it to be autoloaded.   Functions  are  described  in  the
       section  `Functions'  in  zshmisc(1).   Users  changing from the C shell and its relatives
       should notice  that  aliases  are  less  used  in  zsh  as  they  don't  perform  argument
       substitution, only simple text replacement.

       A  few  general  functions,  other  than  those  for  the line editor described above, are
       provided with the shell and are described in zshcontrib(1).  Features include:

       promptinit
              a prompt theme system for changing prompts easily, see the section `Prompt Themes'

       zsh-mime-setup
              a MIME-handling system which dispatches commands according to the suffix of a  file
              as done by graphical file managers

       zcalc  a calculator

       zargs  a version of xargs that makes the find command redundant

       zmv    a command for renaming files by means of shell patterns.