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Chapter 19. Shell Overview

The shell is a program that acts as a buffer between you and the operating system. In its role as a command interpreter, it should (for the most part) act invisibly. It can also be used for simple programming. The shell receives the commands you enter using the Terminal (or a similar program), and decides what to do with it.

This chapter provides a basic overview of the shells included with Mac OS X. Refer to Chapter 20 and Chapter 21 for specific information about Mac OS X's two most-used shells, bash and tcsh, respectively.


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