Sending Tcsh to packages/ports ...

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Mar 30 02:59:01 UTC 2019

On Sat, 30 Mar 2019 08:13:33 +0530, Mayuresh Kathe wrote:
> On 2019-03-30 08:03 AM, Polytropon wrote:
> > On Fri, 29 Mar 2019 19:08:16 +0530, Mayuresh Kathe wrote:
> >> On 2019-03-29 04:59 PM, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
> >> > On Fri, 29 Mar 2019, Mayuresh Kathe wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> Since Tcsh is usually imported, why not send it to packages/ports
> >> >> collection?
> >> >> I agree that "csh" is an historically important artifact, but do we
> >> >> need to still rely on that?
> >> >> I have been using "csh" ever since I started using FreeBSD, liked it,
> >> >> but it doesn't feel light like plain old "sh" nor is as feature-full
> >> >> as "bash". To top that, the installer asks me to choose between "csh"
> >> >> and "tcsh" in-spite of being the same binary.
> >> >
> >> > ed and csh are important for those that use them. I use both, not
> >> > always, but enough to see the importance of keeping them in the OS.
> >> > There is a fallacious style of argument that decodes to "If a is
> >> > better than b, then b is no good and it is a sign of bad character to
> >> > use b". There are many cases where the transition costs of moving to
> >> > different dependencies will be significant, especially for less well
> >> > informed users.
> >> 
> >> What if you had access to your preferred tools via packages/ports?
> > 
> > The core problem is an educated consensus about what should
> > be the default content of the OS. Access to ports or packages
> > usually implies that you have (a) the installation media, or
> > (b) Internet access. In cases where this does not apply, for
> > reasons like "didn't think about that", "our Internet doesn't
> > work", "Security! Security! Security!" and more, you should
> > definitely _not_ be left with an OS that doesn't have a usable
> > interactive shell or an editor. The mentality of "you can always
> > install it afterwards" should not be applied to basic OS tools
> > and demands.
> But the basic operating system tools would include the Bourne Shell 
> (sh), or as you'd stated previously, in the case of FreeBSD, the 
> Almquist Shell (ash). Isn't "ash" interactive enough for most people?

No. This shell is traditionally a scripting shell. The only
occassion where you would use it is after a severe system
crash, and even from that point, you'd probably just start
the C shell for better interactive features.

I hardly know people who use sh for more than "csh" (to start

On most Linux systems, there is one shell both for scripting
and for interactive use, and it's usually /bin/bash. FreeBSD
differentiates between scripting use, where the POSIX-compliant
sh is used, and interactive use, where the C shell is the
traditional shell, but a user can of course install and use
a different shell.

The scripting shell _must_ always be accessible, and FreeBSD
provides an interactive shell which also always works.

It's important to understand that a custom user shell might not
be available in single-user mode, in a condition where the system
can only operate in a very limited way. That's why it's still
valid to say you should not change root's interactive shell
to something like /usr/local/bin/bash which might cause trouble
logging in when /usr or /usr/local cannot be accessed. That's
what the toor user is intended for.


Some historical UNIX systems actually used the C shell for
scripting to bring the system up into multi-user mode. Luckily,
this is not done anymore as scripting (!) in csh is terrible
and confusing. :-)

> At 
> least I have found it good enough for my day-to-day use.

You are actually using /bin/sh interactively? Not that it's
impossible, but... well... why use sh when the OS provides you
csh whose interactive features are much more advanced and

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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