Zamansky 29: Using Shell and Eshell

Mike Zamansky has posted the latest video in his Using Emacs series. This time it’s about using shell and eshell from within Emacs. Like Zamansky, I’m an old time command line user—I even used the MKS toolkit—and before Emacs I did almost all my work directly in the shell. Since coming to Emacs, I’ve tried to train myself to use the shell from within Emacs. I had only partial success until I started using eshell.

While there are still some gotchas with eshell, it mostly works fine and, indeed, is often superior to a plain shell. Most of the problems involve things like cursor addressing but even there eshell can do the right thing by running the application in a term buffer. See this post from October for the details.

As Zamansky notes in his video, an advantage of eshell is that you can run Emacs command directly from the “command line.” There are other advantages as well. Try cding into a remote machine as Zamansky demonstrates and you’ll be convinced. Mickey, of course, has all the details in his excellent Mastering Eshell article. If you’re an eshell user, or would like to become one, you MUST read his article. I reread it periodically and I always learn something new.

Zamansky’s video is 8 and a half minutes so it’s perfect for a coffee break.

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