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ZSH(1)                                                                                                ZSH(1)

       zsh - the Z shell

       Because zsh contains many features, the zsh manual has been split into a number of sections:

       zsh          Zsh overview (this section)
       zshroadmap   Informal introduction to the manual
       zshmisc      Anything not fitting into the other sections
       zshexpn      Zsh command and parameter expansion
       zshparam     Zsh parameters
       zshoptions   Zsh options
       zshbuiltins  Zsh built-in functions
       zshzle       Zsh command line editing
       zshcompwid   Zsh completion widgets
       zshcompsys   Zsh completion system
       zshcompctl   Zsh completion control
       zshmodules   Zsh loadable modules
       zshtcpsys    Zsh built-in TCP functions
       zshzftpsys   Zsh built-in FTP client
       zshcontrib   Additional zsh functions and utilities
       zshall       Meta-man page containing all of the above

       Zsh  is a UNIX command interpreter (shell) usable as an interactive login shell and as a shell script
       command processor.  Of the standard shells, zsh most closely resembles ksh but includes many enhance-ments. enhancements.
       ments.   Zsh  has command line editing, builtin spelling correction, programmable command completion,
       shell functions (with autoloading), a history mechanism, and a host of other features.

       Zsh was originally written by Paul Falstad <>.  Zsh is now maintained by the members of the
       zsh-workers  mailing  list  <>.  The development is currently coordinated by Peter
       Stephenson <>.  The coordinator can be contacted  at  <>,  but  matters
       relating to the code should generally go to the mailing list.

       Zsh  is  available from the following anonymous FTP sites.  These mirror sites are kept frequently up
       to date.  The sites marked with (H) may be mirroring instead of the primary site.

       Primary site



              The up-to-date source code is available via anonymous  CVS  and  Git  from  Sourceforge.   See
      for  details.  A summary of instructions for the CVS and
              Git archives can be found at

       Zsh has 3 mailing lists:

              Announcements about releases, major changes in the shell and the monthly posting  of  the  Zsh
              FAQ.  (moderated)

              User discussions.

              Hacking, development, bug reports and patches.

       To subscribe or unsubscribe, send mail to the associated administrative address for the mailing list.


       YOU ONLY NEED TO JOIN ONE OF THE MAILING LISTS AS THEY ARE NESTED.  All submissions  to  zsh-announce
       are  automatically  forwarded to zsh-users.  All submissions to zsh-users are automatically forwarded
       to zsh-workers.

       If you have problems subscribing/unsubscribing to any of the mailing lists, send  mail  to  <listmas->.  The mailing lists are maintained by Karsten Thygesen <>.

       The  mailing lists are archived; the archives can be accessed via the administrative addresses listed
       above.  There is also a hypertext archive, maintained  by  Geoff  Wing  <>,  available  at

       Zsh has a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), maintained by Peter Stephenson <>.  It
       is regularly posted to the newsgroup and the zsh-announce mailing list.   The  latest
       version can be found at any of the Zsh FTP sites, or at  The contact address
       for FAQ-related matters is <>.

       Zsh has a web page which is located at  This is maintained by  Karsten  Thygesen
       <>,  of  SunSITE  Denmark.   The  contact  address  for web-related matters is <webmas->.

       A userguide is currently in preparation.  It is intended to complement the manual, with  explanations
       and  hints  on issues where the manual can be cabbalistic, hierographic, or downright mystifying (for
       example, the word `hierographic' does not  exist).   It  can  be  viewed  in  its  current  state  at   At  the time of writing, chapters dealing with startup files and
       their contents and the new completion system were essentially complete.

       A `wiki' website for zsh has been created at  This is a site  which  can  be
       added  to  and  modified  directly by users without any special permission.  You can add your own zsh
       tips and configurations.

       The following flags are interpreted by the shell when invoked to determine where the shell will  read
       commands from:

       -c     Take the first argument as a command to execute, rather than reading commands from a script or
              standard input.  If any further arguments are given, the first one is assigned to  $0,  rather
              than being used as a positional parameter.

       -i     Force shell to be interactive.  It is still possible to specify a script to execute.

       -s     Force  shell  to  read commands from the standard input.  If the -s flag is not present and an
              argument is given, the first argument is taken to be the pathname of a script to execute.

       If there are any remaining arguments after option processing, and neither of the options -c or -s was
       supplied,  the  first  argument is taken as the file name of a script containing shell commands to be
       executed.  If the option PATH_SCRIPT is set, and the file name does  not  contain  a  directory  path
       (i.e.  there  is  no `/' in the name), first the current directory and then the command path given by
       the variable PATH are searched for the script.  If the option is not set or the file name contains  a
       `/' it is used directly.

       After  the  first one or two arguments have been appropriated as described above, the remaining argu-ments arguments
       ments are assigned to the positional parameters.

       For further options, which are common to invocation and the set builtin, see zshoptions(1).

       Options may be specified by name using the -o option.  -o acts like a single-letter option, but takes
       a following string as the option name.  For example,

              zsh -x -o shwordsplit scr

       runs the script scr, setting the XTRACE option by the corresponding letter `-x' and the SH_WORD_SPLIT
       option by name.  Options may be turned off by name by using +o instead of -o.  -o can be  stacked  up
       with preceding single-letter options, so for example `-xo shwordsplit' or `-xoshwordsplit' is equiva-lent equivalent
       lent to `-x -o shwordsplit'.

       Options may also be specified by name in GNU long option style, `--option-name'.  When this is  done,
       `-' characters in the option name are permitted: they are translated into `_', and thus ignored.  So,
       for example, `zsh --sh-word-split' invokes zsh with the SH_WORD_SPLIT option turned on.   Like  other
       option  syntaxes,  options  can  be  turned  off  by  replacing  the  initial  `-'  with  a `+'; thus
       `+-sh-word-split' is equivalent to `--no-sh-word-split'.  Unlike  other  option  syntaxes,  GNU-style
       long  options  cannot be stacked with any other options, so for example `-x-shwordsplit' is an error,
       rather than being treated like `-x --shwordsplit'.

       The special GNU-style option `--version' is handled; it sends to standard output the shell's  version
       information,  then  exits successfully.  `--help' is also handled; it sends to standard output a list
       of options that can be used when invoking the shell, then exits successfully.

       Option processing may be finished, allowing following arguments that start with  `-'  or  `+'  to  be
       treated as normal arguments, in two ways.  Firstly, a lone `-' (or `+') as an argument by itself ends
       option processing.  Secondly, a special option `--' (or `+-'), which may  be  specified  on  its  own
       (which  is the standard POSIX usage) or may be stacked with preceding options (so `-x-' is equivalent
       to `-x --').  Options are not permitted to be stacked after `--' (so `-x-f' is an  error),  but  note
       the GNU-style option form discussed above, where `--shwordsplit' is permitted and does not end option

       Except when the sh/ksh emulation single-letter options are in effect, the option `-b' (or `+b')  ends
       option processing.  `-b' is like `--', except that further single-letter options can be stacked after
       the `-b' and will take effect as normal.

       Zsh tries to emulate sh or ksh when it is invoked as sh or ksh respectively; more precisely, it looks
       at  the first letter of the name by which it was invoked, excluding any initial `r' (assumed to stand
       for `restricted'), and if that is `s' or `k' it will emulate sh or ksh.  Furthermore, if  invoked  as
       su  (which  happens  on certain systems when the shell is executed by the su command), the shell will
       try to find an alternative name from the SHELL environment variable and perform  emulation  based  on

       In sh and ksh compatibility modes the following parameters are not special and not initialized by the
       shell: ARGC, argv, cdpath, fignore, fpath,  HISTCHARS,  mailpath,  MANPATH,  manpath,  path,  prompt,
       PROMPT, PROMPT2, PROMPT3, PROMPT4, psvar, status, watch.

       The  usual  zsh startup/shutdown scripts are not executed.  Login shells source /etc/profile followed
       by $HOME/.profile.  If the ENV environment variable is set on invocation, $ENV is sourced  after  the
       profile  scripts.   The  value  of ENV is subjected to parameter expansion, command substitution, and
       arithmetic expansion before being interpreted as a pathname.  Note that the  PRIVILEGED  option  also
       affects the execution of startup files.

       The  following  options  are  set if the shell is invoked as sh or ksh: NO_BAD_PATTERN, NO_BANG_HIST,
       BSD_ECHO  and  IGNORE_BRACES  options  are  set if zsh is invoked as sh.  Also, the KSH_OPTION_PRINT,
       LOCAL_OPTIONS, PROMPT_BANG, PROMPT_SUBST and SINGLE_LINE_ZLE options are set if  zsh  is  invoked  as

       When  the  basename  of the command used to invoke zsh starts with the letter `r' or the `-r' command
       line option is supplied at invocation, the shell becomes restricted.  Emulation  mode  is  determined
       after  stripping  the  letter `r' from the invocation name.  The following are disabled in restricted

             changing directories with the cd builtin

             changing or unsetting the PATH, path, MODULE_PATH,  module_path,  SHELL,  HISTFILE,  HISTSIZE,
              LD_AOUT_PRELOAD parameters

             specifying command names containing /

             specifying command pathnames using hash

             redirecting output to files

             using the exec builtin command to replace the shell with another command

             using jobs -Z to overwrite the shell process' argument and environment space

             using the ARGV0 parameter to override argv[0] for external commands

             turning off restricted mode with set +r or unsetopt RESTRICTED

       These restrictions are enforced after processing the startup files.  The startup files should set  up
       PATH  to  point to a directory of commands which can be safely invoked in the restricted environment.
       They may also add further restrictions by disabling selected builtins.

       Restricted mode can also be activated any time by setting the RESTRICTED  option.   This  immediately
       enables  all  the  restrictions described above even if the shell still has not processed all startup

       Commands are first read from /etc/zshenv; this cannot be overridden.  Subsequent behaviour  is  modi-fied modified
       fied  by  the RCS and GLOBAL_RCS options; the former affects all startup files, while the second only
       affects global startup files (those shown here with an path starting  with  a  /).   If  one  of  the
       options  is  unset at any point, any subsequent startup file(s) of the corresponding type will not be
       read.  It is also possible for a file in $ZDOTDIR to re-enable GLOBAL_RCS. Both  RCS  and  GLOBAL_RCS
       are set by default.

       Commands  are then read from $ZDOTDIR/.zshenv.  If the shell is a login shell, commands are read from
       /etc/zprofile and then $ZDOTDIR/.zprofile.  Then, if the shell is interactive, commands are read from
       /etc/zshrc  and then $ZDOTDIR/.zshrc.  Finally, if the shell is a login shell, /etc/zlogin and $ZDOT-DIR/.zlogin $ZDOTDIR/.zlogin
       DIR/.zlogin are read.

       When a login shell exits, the files $ZDOTDIR/.zlogout and then /etc/zlogout are read.   This  happens
       with  either  an  explicit  exit  via  the  exit  or  logout commands, or an implicit exit by reading
       end-of-file from the terminal.  However, if the shell terminates due to exec'ing another process, the
       logout  files  are  not  read.  These are also affected by the RCS and GLOBAL_RCS options.  Note also
       that the RCS option affects the saving of history files, i.e. if RCS is unset when the  shell  exits,
       no history file will be saved.

       If  ZDOTDIR  is  unset,  HOME is used instead.  Files listed above as being in /etc may be in another
       directory, depending on the installation.

       As /etc/zshenv is run for all instances of zsh, it is important that it be kept as small as possible.
       In  particular,  it  is  a  good idea to put code that does not need to be run for every single shell
       behind a test of the form `if [[ -o rcs ]]; then ...' so that it will not be  executed  when  zsh  is
       invoked with the `-f' option.

       Any  of these files may be pre-compiled with the zcompile builtin command (see zshbuiltins(1)).  If a
       compiled file exists (named for the original file plus the .zwc extension) and it is newer  than  the
       original file, the compiled file will be used instead.

       ${TMPPREFIX}*   (default is /tmp/zsh*)
       /etc/zlogout    (installation-specific - /etc is the default)

       sh(1), csh(1), tcsh(1), rc(1), bash(1), ksh(1), zshbuiltins(1), zshcompwid(1), zshcompsys(1), zshcom-pctl(1), zshcompctl(1),
       pctl(1), zshexpn(1), zshmisc(1), zshmodules(1), zshoptions(1), zshparam(1), zshzle(1)

       IEEE Standard for information Technology - Portable Operating System  Interface  (POSIX)  -  Part  2:
       Shell and Utilities, IEEE Inc, 1993, ISBN 1-55937-255-9.

zsh 5.0.2                                     December 21, 2012                                       ZSH(1)

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