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Re: Optimal emacs shell for coding

From: Xah
Subject: Re: Optimal emacs shell for coding
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 06:30:02 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Aug 11, 4:38 am, Jonathan Groll <address@hidden> wrote:
> I know of only three ways to get an emacs shell:
> M-x terminal-emulator
> M-x shell
> M-x eshell
> (There is also M-x shell-command RET)
> Question is, which one is best for coding? Lately I've found myself
> opening up an xterm session to do miscellaneous coding support tasks -
> and am mostly struggling with different readline history keybindings
> (eg. I'm used to entering C-r at a shell to get (reverse-i-search) -
> obviously in an emacs shell this will have a dfferent outcome to what
> I desire!
> Any recommendations?

They really all have different purposs.

• M-x shell-command
lets you run a single shell cammand.

• M-x shell
command line interface to OS.

• M-x terminal-emulator

This is actually a terminal emulator.
For example, you can start a telnet or ssh or top in it.
You can also start a vi, or even emacs itself within.

You cannot run these problems with M-x shell, for example.

• M-x eshell
This is just like shell, except it's written in elisp.
The purpose is so that you can have access to the familiar unix shell
in different OSes such as MS Windows.

In general, the shell-command and shell is most useful. Run eshell if
you are in Windows and don't have cygwin installed and want to run
unix commands such as ls, cd, mkdir, etc. If you need to run telnet,
ssh, top, or any program that fills a screen, you'll need to run term.
I don't particular recommend it because once in term, many default
keybindings of emacs won't work because it pretends to be a term emu.
If you want to run ssh etc, best to start in a real term emulator.

For more tips, see


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