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Beginners' Series #3 Part 2

More on How to Get a *Good* Shell Account
In this section you will learn:

· How to explore your shell account
· Ten Meinel Hall of Fame Shell Account Exploration Tools
· How to decide whether your shell account is any good for hacking
· Ten Meinel Hall of Fame LAN and Internet Exploration Tools
· Meinel Hall of Infamy Top Five Ways to Get Kicked out of Your Shell Account
How to Explore Your Shell Account

So you're in your shell account. You've tried the "ls -alF" command and are pretty sure this really, truly is a shell account. What do you do next?

A good place to start is to find out what kind of shell you have. There are many shells, each of which has slightly different ways of working. To do this, at your prompt give the command "echo $SHELL." Be sure to type in the same lower case and upper case letters. If you were to give the command "ECHO $shell," for example, this command won't work.

If you get the response:


That means you have the Bourne shell.

If you get:


Then you are in the Bourne Again (bash) shell.

If you get:


You have the Korn shell.

If the "echo $SHELL" command doesn't work, try the command "echo $shell," remembering to use lower case for "shell." This will likely get you the answer:


This means you have the C shell.

Why is it important to know which shell you have? For right now, you'll want a shell that is easy to use. For example, when you make a mistake in typing, it's nice to hit the backspace key and not see ^H^H^H on your screen. Later, though, for running those super hacker exploits, the C shell may be better for you.

Fortunately, you may not be stuck with whatever shell you have when you log in. If your shell account is any good, you will have a choice of shells.

Trust me, if you are a beginner, you will find bash to be the easiest shell to use. You may be able to get the bash shell by simply typing the word "bash" at the prompt. If this doesn't work, ask tech support at your ISP for a shell account set up to use bash. A great book on using the bash shell is _Learning the Bash Shell_, by Cameron Newham and Bill Rosenblatt, published by O'Reilly.

If you want to find out what other shells you have the right to use, try "csh" to get the C shell; "ksh" to get the Korn shell, "sh" for Bourne shell, "tcsh" for the Tcsh shell, and "zsh" for the Zsh shell. If you don't have one of them, when you give the command to get into that shell you will get back the answer "command not found."

More how to get a good shell account-->> 

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