Back in February I wrote about switching from bash to John Wiegley's eshell. I've been really happy with eshell but have used it pretty much as I would bash. Recently, I saw a tweet that pointed me to this Mastering Emacs post. As usual, Mickey is the go to guy for information on how Emacs works.

Mickey remarks that although eshell is awesome, the documentation is lacking. He proceeds to fix that with a long post that discusses many of the ways that eshell is different from (and often better than) bash. In the comments, Wiegley makes an appearance and points out a few things that Mickey missed.

If you aren't already using eshell I urge you to give it a try. I find that I'm much less apt to bring up a separate shell than I was when I was running bash inside Emacs. If you're not sure, give Mickey's post to look to see what you're missing. If you're already using eshell, you should check out the post too. It's full of useful information that will help you take full advantage of a really great Emacs mode.

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  • Alex Vorobiev

    There has been a big update to the eshell manual recently. Nic Ferrier shared this link

    The commit is titled "Fill most of the missing sections" so it looks like we may finally have (almost) complete manual.

  • Phil

    I kinda wish there was some kind of crowd-funding facility for the community to pay for things like this.

    In his chat with Sacha Chua, John said:

    I have always told the community that if someone wants to step up and pay for it, I’ll write the eshell documentation. But that’s never happened. So if the community doesn’t value the eshell documentation enough to pay me to do it, then why would I spend the time that I could be spending coding to write it?

    See under the heading "Making money with Emacs" at

    I know I'd have chipped in for such a thing, and I'd bet that a great many others would have done the same.

  • i'd have to give another try at eshell. Really great, but lack doc. The MasteringEmacs article is great, but still require reader to spent hours to dig into. But haven't yet got few hours to dig into.

    i had a nice chat with John about needing eshell doc, few months ago on twitter.

    though, his philosophy on doc seems strange to me. (this isn't a negative comment) If i wrote eshell, i'd rather ask money for expanding the project or fix bugs, instead of the doc. Because, doc is essential for project to be used, and i surely want people to use what i created. Also, for me, any code i write usually have doc with it, because i had to write certain minimal doc first due to my habit of coding. But the thing i don't get is, given the age of eshell, i'd imagine if he just spend 2 hours, writing a outline of the essentials, no more than 2 hours, that'd basically be 100% good enough doc, and will increase users if i may randomly guess by 2 or 5 fold!