Special Characters Used by the Default Shell in TerpConnect for UNIX

This page is based on Dotfiles (AC-16) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It has been modified to reflect the TerpConnect computer system environment. These files should not be removed from your account unless you know what you are doing.

Tcsh is the default TerpConnect shell. Tcsh has some special characters that you should be aware of when making aliases or anything else that will be interpreted by the shell.


An abbreviation for the home directory. Most commonly used when copying files from one directory to the users home directory:
cp file.name ~user_name


Any single character, used to fill in blanks


Any file name or part of a file name. * means all files, x* means all files starting with x, x.* means all files beginning with x. and *.x means all files ending in .x. It even works for x*x where you get all files beginning and ending in x. This is similar to ? but there's not a limit on the number of character to fill in with.


Used to group things. Anything within the "" will be treated as one word except variables which are still expanded.


Same as above but won't expand variables.

[ ]

Encloses list of character options: *.[ch] will list all files ending in .c or .h

{ }

Does it for words ls ~/1.00/{prob1, prob2, prob3}.c

( )

Encloses commands to be executed in a sub shell.


Separates commands you want run on a separate line.


Takes output of a command and writes it to a file.


Supplies the file as input to a command, for example: zwrite friend < file.


Takes the output of one command and makes it the input of the next command.


If you want one of the above characters as itself put a / in front of it.