Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
ZSHPARAM(1)             FreeBSD General Commands Manual            ZSHPARAM(1)

       zshparam - zsh parameters

       A parameter has a name, a value, and a number of attributes.  A name
       may be any sequence of alphanumeric characters and underscores, or the
       single characters `*', `@', `#', `?', `-', `$', or `!'.  The value may
       be a scalar (a string), an integer, an array (indexed numerically), or
       an associative array (an unordered set of name-value pairs, indexed by
       name).  To declare the type of a parameter, or to assign a scalar or
       integer value to a parameter, use the typeset builtin.

       The value of a scalar or integer parameter may also be assigned by


       If the integer attribute, -i, is set for name, the value is subject to
       arithmetic evaluation.  See the section `Array Parameters' for
       additional forms of assignment.

       To refer to the value of a parameter, write `$name' or `${name}'.  See
       Parameter Expansion in zshexpn(1) for complete details.

       In the parameter lists that follow, the mark `<S>' indicates that the
       parameter is special.  Special parameters cannot have their type
       changed, and they stay special even if unset.  `<Z>' indicates that the
       parameter does not exist when the shell initializes in sh or ksh
       emulation mode.

       To assign an array value, write one of:

              set -A name value ...
              name=(value ...)

       If no parameter name exists, an ordinary array parameter is created.
       If the parameter name exists and is a scalar, it is replaced by a new
       array.  Ordinary array parameters may also be explicitly declared with:

              typeset -a name

       Associative arrays must be declared before assignment, by using:

              typeset -A name

       When name refers to an associative array, the list in an assignment is
       interpreted as alternating keys and values:

              set -A name key value ...
              name=(key value ...)

       Every key must have a value in this case.  Note that this assigns to
       the entire array, deleting any elements that do not appear in the list.

       To create an empty array (including associative arrays), use one of:

              set -A name

   Array Subscripts
       Individual elements of an array may be selected using a subscript.  A
       subscript of the form `[exp]' selects the single element exp, where exp
       is an arithmetic expression which will be subject to arithmetic
       expansion as if it were surrounded by `$((...))'.  The elements are
       numbered beginning with 1, unless the KSH_ARRAYS option is set in which
       case they are numbered from zero.

       Subscripts may be used inside braces used to delimit a parameter name,
       thus `${foo[2]}' is equivalent to `$foo[2]'.  If the KSH_ARRAYS option
       is set, the braced form is the only one that works, as bracketed
       expressions otherwise are not treated as subscripts.

       The same subscripting syntax is used for associative arrays, except
       that no arithmetic expansion is applied to exp.  However, the parsing
       rules for arithmetic expressions still apply, which affects the way
       that certain special characters must be protected from interpretation.
       See Subscript Parsing below for details.

       A subscript of the form `[*]' or `[@]' evaluates to all elements of an
       array; there is no difference between the two except when they appear
       within double quotes.  `"$foo[*]"' evaluates to `"$foo[1] $foo[2]
       ..."', whereas `"$foo[@]"' evaluates to `"$foo[1]" "$foo[2]" ...'.  For
       associative arrays, `[*]' or `[@]' evaluate to all the values (not the
       keys, but see Subscript Flags below), in no particular order.  When an
       array parameter is referenced as `$name' (with no subscript) it
       evaluates to `$name[*]', unless the KSH_ARRAYS option is set in which
       case it evaluates to `${name[0]}' (for an associative array, this means
       the value of the key `0', which may not exist even if there are values
       for other keys).

       A subscript of the form `[exp1,exp2]' selects all elements in the range
       exp1 to exp2, inclusive. (Associative arrays are unordered, and so do
       not support ranges.) If one of the subscripts evaluates to a negative
       number, say -n, then the nth element from the end of the array is used.
       Thus `$foo[-3]' is the third element from the end of the array foo, and
       `$foo[1,-1]' is the same as `$foo[*]'.

       Subscripting may also be performed on non-array values, in which case
       the subscripts specify a substring to be extracted.  For example, if
       FOO is set to `foobar', then `echo $FOO[2,5]' prints `ooba'.

   Array Element Assignment
       A subscript may be used on the left side of an assignment like so:


       In this form of assignment the element or range specified by exp is
       replaced by the expression on the right side.  An array (but not an
       associative array) may be created by assignment to a range or element.
       Arrays do not nest, so assigning a parenthesized list of values to an
       element or range changes the number of elements in the array, shifting
       the other elements to accommodate the new values.  (This is not
       supported for associative arrays.)

       This syntax also works as an argument to the typeset command:

              typeset "name[exp]"=value

       The value may not be a parenthesized list in this case; only
       single-element assignments may be made with typeset.  Note that quotes
       are necessary in this case to prevent the brackets from being
       interpreted as filename generation operators.  The noglob precommand
       modifier could be used instead.

       To delete an element of an ordinary array, assign `()' to that element.
       To delete an element of an associative array, use the unset command:

              unset "name[exp]"

   Subscript Flags
       If the opening bracket, or the comma in a range, in any subscript
       expression is directly followed by an opening parenthesis, the string
       up to the matching closing one is considered to be a list of flags, as
       in `name[(flags)exp]'.  The flags currently understood are:

       w      If the parameter subscripted is a scalar than this flag makes
              subscripting work on words instead of characters.  The default
              word separator is whitespace.

              This gives the string that separates words (for use with the w

       p      Recognize the same escape sequences as the print builtin in the
              string argument of a subsequent `s' flag.

       f      If the parameter subscripted is a scalar than this flag makes
              subscripting work on lines instead of characters, i.e. with
              elements separated by newlines.  This is a shorthand for

       r      Reverse subscripting: if this flag is given, the exp is taken as
              a pattern and the result is the first matching array element,
              substring or word (if the parameter is an array, if it is a
              scalar, or if it is a scalar and the `w' flag is given,
              respectively).  The subscript used is the number of the matching
              element, so that pairs of subscripts such as `$foo[(r)??,3]' and
              `$foo[(r)??,(r)f*]' are possible.  If the parameter is an
              associative array, only the value part of each pair is compared
              to the pattern, and the result is that value.  Reverse
              subscripts may be used for assigning to ordinary array elements,
              but not for assigning to associative arrays.

       R      Like `r', but gives the last match.  For associative arrays,
              gives all possible matches.

       i      Like `r', but gives the index of the match instead; this may not
              be combined with a second argument.  On the left side of an
              assignment, behaves like `r'.  For associative arrays, the key
              part of each pair is compared to the pattern, and the first
              matching key found is the result.

       I      Like `i', but gives the index of the last match, or all possible
              matching keys in an associative array.

       k      If used in a subscript on an associative array, this flag causes
              the keys to be interpreted as patterns, and returns the value
              for the first key found where exp is matched by the key.  This
              flag does not work on the left side of an assignment to an
              associative array element.  If used on another type of
              parameter, this behaves like `r'.

       K      On an associative array this is like `k' but returns all values
              where exp is matched by the keys.  On other types of parameters
              this has the same effect as `R'.

              If combined with `r', `R', `i' or `I', makes them give the nth
              or nth last match (if expr evaluates to n).  This flag is
              ignored when the array is associative.

              If combined with `r', `R', `i' or `I', makes them begin at the
              nth or nth last element, word, or character (if expr evaluates
              to n).  This flag is ignored when the array is associative.

       e      This flag has no effect and for ordinary arrays is retained for
              backward compatibility only.  For associative arrays, this flag
              can be used to force * or @ to be interpreted as a single key
              rather than as a reference to all values.  This flag may be used
              on the left side of an assignment.

       See Parameter Expansion Flags (zshexpn(1)) for additional ways to
       manipulate the results of array subscripting.

   Subscript Parsing
       This discussion applies mainly to associative array key strings and to
       patterns used for reverse subscripting (the `r', `R', `i', etc. flags),
       but it may also affect parameter substitutions that appear as part of
       an arithmetic expression in an ordinary subscript.

       The basic rule to remember when writing a subscript expression is that
       all text between the opening `[' and the closing `]' is interpreted as
       if it were in double quotes (see zshmisc(1)).  However, unlike double
       quotes which normally cannot nest, subscript expressions may appear
       inside double-quoted strings or inside other subscript expressions (or
       both!), so the rules have two important differences.

       The first difference is that brackets (`[' and `]') must appear as
       balanced pairs in a subscript expression unless they are preceded by a
       backslash (`\').  Therefore, within a subscript expression (and unlike
       true double-quoting) the sequence `\[' becomes `[', and similarly `\]'
       becomes `]'.  This applies even in cases where a backslash is not
       normally required; for example, the pattern `[^[]' (to match any
       character other than an open bracket) should be written `[^\[]' in a
       reverse-subscript pattern.  However, note that `\[^\[\]' and even
       `\[^[]' mean the same thing, because backslashes are always stripped
       when they appear before brackets!

       The same rule applies to parentheses (`(' and `)') and braces (`{' and
       `}'): they must appear either in balanced pairs or preceded by a
       backslash, and backslashes that protect parentheses or braces are
       removed during parsing.  This is because parameter expansions may be
       surrounded balanced braces, and subscript flags are introduced by
       balanced parenthesis.

       The second difference is that a double-quote (`"') may appear as part
       of a subscript expression without being preceded by a backslash, and
       therefore that the two characters `\"' remain as two characters in the
       subscript (in true double-quoting, `\"' becomes `"').  However, because
       of the standard shell quoting rules, any double-quotes that appear must
       occur in balanced pairs unless preceded by a backslash.  This makes it
       more difficult to write a subscript expression that contains an odd
       number of double-quote characters, but the reason for this difference
       is so that when a subscript expression appears inside true
       double-quotes, one can still write `\"' (rather than `\\\"') for `"'.

       To use an odd number of double quotes as a key in an assignment, use
       the typeset builtin and an enclosing pair of double quotes; to refer to
       the value of that key, again use double quotes:

              typeset -A aa
              typeset "aa[one\"two\"three\"quotes]"=QQQ
              print "$aa[one\"two\"three\"quotes]"

       It is important to note that the quoting rules do not change when a
       parameter expansion with a subscript is nested inside another subscript
       expression.  That is, it is not necessary to use additional backslashes
       within the inner subscript expression; they are removed only once, from
       the innermost subscript outwards.  Parameters are also expanded from
       the innermost subscript first, as each expansion is encountered left to
       right in the outer expression.

       A further complication arises from a way in which subscript parsing is
       not different from double quote parsing.  As in true double-quoting,
       the sequences `\*', and `\@' remain as two characters when they appear
       in a subscript expression.  To use a literal `*' or `@' as an
       associative array key, the `e' flag must be used:

              typeset -A aa
              print $aa[(e)*]

       A last detail must be considered when reverse subscripting is
       performed.  Parameters appearing in the subscript expression are first
       expanded and then the complete expression is interpreted as a pattern.
       This has two effects: first, parameters behave as if GLOB_SUBST were on
       (and it cannot be turned off); second, backslashes are interpreted
       twice, once when parsing the array subscript and again when parsing the
       pattern.  In a reverse subscript, it's necessary to use four
       backslashes to cause a single backslash to match literally in the
       pattern.  For complex patterns, it is often easiest to assign the
       desired pattern to a parameter and then refer to that parameter in the
       subscript, because then the backslashes, brackets, parentheses, etc.,
       are seen only when the complete expression is converted to a pattern.
       To match the value of a parameter literally in a reverse subscript,
       rather than as a pattern, use `${(q)name}' (see zshexpn(1)) to quote
       the expanded value.

       Note that the `k' and `K' flags are reverse subscripting for an
       ordinary array, but are not reverse subscripting for an associative
       array!  (For an associative array, the keys in the array itself are
       interpreted as patterns by those flags; the subscript is a plain string
       in that case.)

       One final note, not directly related to subscripting: the numeric names
       of positional parameters (described below) are parsed specially, so for
       example `$2foo' is equivalent to `${2}foo'.  Therefore, to use
       subscript syntax to extract a substring from a positional parameter,
       the expansion must be surrounded by braces; for example, `${2[3,5]}'
       evaluates to the third through fifth characters of the second
       positional parameter, but `$2[3,5]' is the entire second parameter
       concatenated with the filename generation pattern `[3,5]'.

       The positional parameters provide access to the command-line arguments
       of a shell function, shell script, or the shell itself; see the section
       `Invocation', and also the section `Functions'.  The parameter n, where
       n is a number, is the nth positional parameter.  The parameters *, @
       and argv are arrays containing all the positional parameters; thus
       `$argv[n]', etc., is equivalent to simply `$n'.

       Positional parameters may be changed after the shell or function starts
       by using the set builtin, by assigning to the argv array, or by direct
       assignment of the form `n=value' where n is the number of the
       positional parameter to be changed.  This also creates (with empty
       values) any of the positions from 1 to n that do not already have
       values.  Note that, because the positional parameters form an array, an
       array assignment of the form `n=(value ...)' is allowed, and has the
       effect of shifting all the values at positions greater than n by as
       many positions as necessary to accommodate the new values.

       Shell function executions delimit scopes for shell parameters.
       (Parameters are dynamically scoped.)  The typeset builtin, and its
       alternative forms declare, integer, local and readonly (but not
       export), can be used to declare a parameter as being local to the
       innermost scope.

       When a parameter is read or assigned to, the innermost existing
       parameter of that name is used.  (That is, the local parameter hides
       any less-local parameter.)  However, assigning to a non-existent
       parameter, or declaring a new parameter with export, causes it to be
       created in the outermost scope.

       Local parameters disappear when their scope ends.  unset can be used to
       delete a parameter while it is still in scope; any outer parameter of
       the same name remains hidden.

       Special parameters may also be made local; they retain their special
       attributes unless either the existing or the newly-created parameter
       has the -h (hide) attribute.  This may have unexpected effects: there
       is no default value, so if there is no assignment at the point the
       variable is made local, it will be set to an empty value (or zero in
       the case of integers).  The following:

              typeset PATH=/new/directory:$PATH

       is valid for temporarily allowing the shell or programmes called from
       it to find the programs in /new/directory inside a function.

       Note that the restriction in older versions of zsh that local
       parameters were never exported has been removed.

       The following parameters are automatically set by the shell:

       ! <S>  The process ID of the last background command invoked.

       # <S>  The number of positional parameters in decimal.  Note that some
              confusion may occur with the syntax $#param which substitutes
              the length of param.  Use ${#} to resolve ambiguities.  In
              particular, the sequence `$#-...' in an arithmetic expression is
              interpreted as the length of the parameter -, q.v.

       ARGC <S> <Z>
              Same as #.

       $ <S>  The process ID of this shell.

       - <S>  Flags supplied to the shell on invocation or by the set or
              setopt commands.

       * <S>  An array containing the positional parameters.

       argv <S> <Z>
              Same as *.  Assigning to argv changes the local positional
              parameters, but argv is not itself a local parameter.  Deleting
              argv with unset in any function deletes it everywhere, although
              only the innermost positional parameter array is deleted (so *
              and @ in other scopes are not affected).

       @ <S>  Same as argv[@], even when argv is not set.

       ? <S>  The exit value returned by the last command.

       0 <S>  The name used to invoke the current shell.  If the
              FUNCTION_ARGZERO option is set, this is set temporarily within a
              shell function to the name of the function, and within a sourced
              script to the name of the script.

       status <S> <Z>
              Same as ?.

       pipestatus <S> <Z>
              An array containing the exit values returned by all commands in
              the last pipeline.

       _ <S>  The last argument of the previous command.  Also, this parameter
              is set in the environment of every command executed to the full
              pathname of the command.

              The machine type (microprocessor class or machine model), as
              determined at run time.

       EGID <S>
              The effective group ID of the shell process.  If you have
              sufficient privileges, you may change the effective group ID of
              the shell process by assigning to this parameter.  Also
              (assuming sufficient privileges), you may start a single command
              with a different effective group ID by `(EGID=gid; command)'

       EUID <S>
              The effective user ID of the shell process.  If you have
              sufficient privileges, you may change the effective user ID of
              the shell process by assigning to this parameter.  Also
              (assuming sufficient privileges), you may start a single command
              with a different effective user ID by `(EUID=uid; command)'

       ERRNO <S>
              The value of errno (see errno(3)) as set by the most recently
              failed system call.  This value is system dependent and is
              intended for debugging purposes.

       GID <S>
              The real group ID of the shell process.  If you have sufficient
              privileges, you may change the group ID of the shell process by
              assigning to this parameter.  Also (assuming sufficient
              privileges), you may start a single command under a different
              group ID by `(GID=gid; command)'

       HOST   The current hostname.

       LINENO <S>
              The line number of the current line within the current script,
              sourced file, or shell function being executed, whichever was
              started most recently.  Note that in the case of shell functions
              the line number refers to the function as it appeared in the
              original definition, not necessarily as displayed by the
              functions builtin.

              If the corresponding variable is not set in the environment of
              the shell, it is initialized to the login name corresponding to
              the current login session. This parameter is exported by default
              but this can be disabled using the typeset builtin.

              The machine type (microprocessor class or machine model), as
              determined at compile time.

       OLDPWD The previous working directory.  This is set when the shell
              initializes and whenever the directory changes.

       OPTARG <S>
              The value of the last option argument processed by the getopts

       OPTIND <S>
              The index of the last option argument processed by the getopts

       OSTYPE The operating system, as determined at compile time.

       PPID <S>
              The process ID of the parent of the shell.

       PWD    The present working directory.  This is set when the shell
              initializes and whenever the directory changes.

       RANDOM <S>
              A random integer from 0 to 32767, newly generated each time this
              parameter is referenced.  The random number generator can be
              seeded by assigning a numeric value to RANDOM.

       SECONDS <S>
              The number of seconds since shell invocation.  If this parameter
              is assigned a value, then the value returned upon reference will
              be the value that was assigned plus the number of seconds since
              the assignment.

       SHLVL <S>
              Incremented by one each time a new shell is started.

              An array containing the names of the signals.

       TTY    The name of the tty associated with the shell, if any.

       TTYIDLE <S>
              The idle time of the tty associated with the shell in seconds or
              -1 if there is no such tty.

       UID <S>
              The real user ID of the shell process.  If you have sufficient
              privileges, you may change the user ID of the shell by assigning
              to this parameter.  Also (assuming sufficient privileges), you
              may start a single command under a different user ID by
              `(UID=uid; command)'

       USERNAME <S>
              The username corresponding to the real user ID of the shell
              process.  If you have sufficient privileges, you may change the
              username (and also the user ID and group ID) of the shell by
              assigning to this parameter.  Also (assuming sufficient
              privileges), you may start a single command under a different
              username (and user ID and group ID) by `(USERNAME=username;

       VENDOR The vendor, as determined at compile time.

              Expands to the basename of the command used to invoke this
              instance of zsh.

              The version number of this zsh.

       The following parameters are used by the shell.

       In cases where there are two parameters with an upper- and lowercase
       form of the same name, such as path and PATH, the lowercase form is an
       array and the uppercase form is a scalar with the elements of the array
       joined together by colons.  These are similar to tied parameters
       created via `typeset -T'.  The normal use for the colon-separated form
       is for exporting to the environment, while the array form is easier to
       manipulate within the shell.  Note that unsetting either of the pair
       will unset the other; they retain their special properties when
       recreated, and recreating one of the pair will recreate the other.

       ARGV0  If exported, its value is used as the argv[0] of external
              commands.  Usually used in constructs like `ARGV0=emacs

       BAUD   The baud rate of the current connection.  Used by the line
              editor update mechanism to compensate for a slow terminal by
              delaying updates until necessary.  This may be profitably set to
              a lower value in some circumstances, e.g.  for slow modems
              dialing into a communications server which is connected to a
              host via a fast link; in this case, this variable would be set
              by default to the speed of the fast link, and not the modem.
              This parameter should be set to the baud rate of the slowest
              part of the link for best performance. The compensation
              mechanism can be turned off by setting the variable to zero.

       cdpath <S> <Z> (CDPATH <S>)
              An array (colon-separated list) of directories specifying the
              search path for the cd command.

       COLUMNS <S>
              The number of columns for this terminal session.  Used for
              printing select lists and for the line editor.

              The maximum size of the directory stack.  If the stack gets
              larger than this, it will be truncated automatically.  This is
              useful with the AUTO_PUSHD option.

       FCEDIT The default editor for the fc builtin.

       fignore <S> <Z> (FIGNORE <S>)
              An array (colon separated list) containing the suffixes of files
              to be ignored during filename completion.  However, if
              completion only generates files with suffixes in this list, then
              these files are completed anyway.

       fpath <S> <Z> (FPATH <S>)
              An array (colon separated list) of directories specifying the
              search path for function definitions.  This path is searched
              when a function with the -u attribute is referenced.  If an
              executable file is found, then it is read and executed in the
              current environment.

       histchars <S>
              Three characters used by the shell's history and lexical
              analysis mechanism.  The first character signals the start of a
              history expansion (default `!').  The second character signals
              the start of a quick history substitution (default `^').  The
              third character is the comment character (default `#').

       HISTCHARS <S> <Z>
              Same as histchars.  (Deprecated.)

              The file to save the history in when an interactive shell exits.
              If unset, the history is not saved.

       HISTSIZE <S>
              The maximum number of events stored in the internal history
              list.  If you use the HIST_EXPIRE_DUPS_FIRST option, setting
              this value larger than the SAVEHIST size will give you the
              difference as a cushion for saving duplicated history events.

       HOME <S>
              The default argument for the cd command.

       IFS <S>
              Internal field separators (by default space, tab, newline and
              NUL), that are used to separate words which result from command
              or parameter expansion and words read by the read builtin.  Any
              characters from the set space, tab and newline that appear in
              the IFS are called IFS white space.  One or more IFS white space
              characters or one non-IFS white space character together with
              any adjacent IFS white space character delimit a field.  If an
              IFS white space character appears twice consecutively in the
              IFS, this character is treated as if it were not an IFS white
              space character.

              The time the shell waits, in hundredths of seconds, for another
              key to be pressed when reading bound multi-character sequences.

       LANG <S>
              This variable determines the locale category for any category
              not specifically selected via a variable starting with `LC_'.

       LC_ALL <S>
              This variable overrides the value of the `LANG' variable and the
              value of any of the other variables starting with `LC_'.

       LC_COLLATE <S>
              This variable determines the locale category for character
              collation information within ranges in glob brackets and for

       LC_CTYPE <S>
              This variable determines the locale category for character
              handling functions.

       LC_MESSAGES <S>
              This variable determines the language in which messages should
              be written.  Note that zsh does not use message catalogs.

       LC_NUMERIC <S>
              This variable affects the decimal point character and thousands
              separator character for the formatted input/output functions and
              string conversion functions.  Note that zsh ignores this setting
              when parsing floating point mathematical expressions.

       LC_TIME <S>
              This variable determines the locale category for date and time
              formatting in prompt escape sequences.

       LINES <S>
              The number of lines for this terminal session.  Used for
              printing select lists and for the line editor.

              In the line editor, the number of matches to list without asking
              first. If the value is negative, the list will be shown if it
              spans at most as many lines as given by the absolute value.  If
              set to zero, the shell asks only if the top of the listing would
              scroll off the screen.

              The interval in seconds between checks for login/logout activity
              using the watch parameter.

       MAIL   If this parameter is set and mailpath is not set, the shell
              looks for mail in the specified file.

              The interval in seconds between checks for new mail.

       mailpath <S> <Z> (MAILPATH <S>)
              An array (colon-separated list) of filenames to check for new
              mail.  Each filename can be followed by a `?' and a message that
              will be printed.  The message will undergo parameter expansion,
              command substitution and arithmetic expansion with the variable
              $_ defined as the name of the file that has changed.  The
              default message is `You have new mail'.  If an element is a
              directory instead of a file the shell will recursively check
              every file in every subdirectory of the element.

       manpath <S> <Z> (MANPATH <S> <Z>)
              An array (colon-separated list) whose value is not used by the
              shell.  The manpath array can be useful, however, since setting
              it also sets MANPATH, and vice versa.

       module_path <S> <Z> (MODULE_PATH <S>)
              An array (colon-separated list) of directories that zmodload
              searches for dynamically loadable modules.  This is initialized
              to a standard pathname, usually
              `/usr/local/lib/zsh/$ZSH_VERSION'.  (The `/usr/local/lib' part
              varies from installation to installation.) For security reasons,
              any value set in the environment when the shell is started will
              be ignored.

              These parameters only exist if the installation supports dynamic
              module loading.

       NULLCMD <S>
              The command name to assume if a redirection is specified with no
              command.  Defaults to cat.  For sh/ksh behavior, change this to
              :.  For csh-like behavior, unset this parameter; the shell will
              print an error message if null commands are entered.

       path <S> <Z> (PATH <S>)
              An array (colon-separated list) of directories to search for
              commands.  When this parameter is set, each directory is scanned
              and all files found are put in a hash table.

       POSTEDIT <S>
              This string is output whenever the line editor exits.  It
              usually contains termcap strings to reset the terminal.

       PROMPT <S> <Z>
       PROMPT2 <S> <Z>
       PROMPT3 <S> <Z>
       PROMPT4 <S> <Z>
              Same as PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4, respectively.

       prompt <S> <Z>
              Same as PS1.

       PS1 <S>
              The primary prompt string, printed before a command is read.
              the default is `%m%# '.  It undergoes a special form of
              expansion before being displayed; see the section `Prompt

       PS2 <S>
              The secondary prompt, printed when the shell needs more
              information to complete a command.  It is expanded in the same
              way as PS1.  The default is `%_> ', which displays any shell
              constructs or quotation marks which are currently being

       PS3 <S>
              Selection prompt used within a select loop.  It is expanded in
              the same way as PS1.  The default is `?# '.

       PS4 <S>
              The execution trace prompt.  Default is `+%N:%i> ', which
              displays the name of the current shell structure and the line
              number within it.  In sh or ksh emulation, the default is `+ '.

       psvar <S> <Z> (PSVAR <S>)
              An array (colon-separated list) whose first nine values can be
              used in PROMPT strings.  Setting psvar also sets PSVAR, and vice

              The command name to assume if a single input redirection is
              specified with no command.  Defaults to more.

              If nonnegative, commands whose combined user and system
              execution times (measured in seconds) are greater than this
              value have timing statistics printed for them.

       REPLY  This parameter is reserved by convention to pass string values
              between shell scripts and shell builtins in situations where a
              function call or redirection are impossible or undesirable.  The
              read builtin and the select complex command may set REPLY, and
              filename generation both sets and examines its value when
              evaluating certain expressions.  Some modules also employ REPLY
              for similar purposes.

       reply  As REPLY, but for array values rather than strings.

       RPROMPT <S>
       RPS1 <S>
              This prompt is displayed on the right-hand side of the screen
              when the primary prompt is being displayed on the left.  This
              does not work if the SINGLELINEZLE option is set.  It is
              expanded in the same way as PS1.

              The maximum number of history events to save in the history

       SPROMPT <S>
              The prompt used for spelling correction.  The sequence `%R'
              expands to the string which presumably needs spelling
              correction, and `%r' expands to the proposed correction.  All
              other prompt escapes are also allowed.

       STTY   If this parameter is set in a command's environment, the shell
              runs the stty command with the value of this parameter as
              arguments in order to set up the terminal before executing the
              command. The modes apply only to the command, and are reset when
              it finishes or is suspended. If the command is suspended and
              continued later with the fg or wait builtins it will see the
              modes specified by STTY, as if it were not suspended.  This
              (intentionally) does not apply if the command is continued via
              `kill -CONT'.  STTY is ignored if the command is run in the
              background, or if it is in the environment of the shell but not
              explicitly assigned to in the input line. This avoids running
              stty at every external command by accidentally exporting it.
              Also note that STTY should not be used for window size
              specifications; these will not be local to the command.

       TERM <S>
              The type of terminal in use.  This is used when looking up
              termcap sequences.  An assignment to TERM causes zsh to
              re-initialize the terminal, even if the value does not change
              (e.g., `TERM=$TERM').  It is necessary to make such an
              assignment upon any change to the terminal definition database
              or terminal type in order for the new settings to take effect.

              The format of process time reports with the time keyword.  The
              default is `%E real  %U user  %S system  %P %J'.  Recognizes the
              following escape sequences:

              %%     A `%'.
              %U     CPU seconds spent in user mode.
              %S     CPU seconds spent in kernel mode.
              %E     Elapsed time in seconds.
              %P     The CPU percentage, computed as (%U+%S)/%E.
              %J     The name of this job.

              A star may be inserted between the percent sign and flags
              printing time.  This cause the time to be printed in
              `hh:mm:ss.ttt' format (hours and minutes are only printed if
              they are not zero).

       TMOUT  If this parameter is nonzero, the shell will receive an ALRM
              signal if a command is not entered within the specified number
              of seconds after issuing a prompt. If there is a trap on
              SIGALRM, it will be executed and a new alarm is scheduled using
              the value of the TMOUT parameter after executing the trap.  If
              no trap is set, and the idle time of the terminal is not less
              than the value of the TMOUT parameter, zsh terminates.
              Otherwise a new alarm is scheduled to TMOUT seconds after the
              last keypress.

              A pathname prefix which the shell will use for all temporary
              files.  Note that this should include an initial part for the
              file name as well as any directory names.  The default is

       watch <S> <Z> (WATCH <S>)
              An array (colon-separated list) of login/logout events to
              report.  If it contains the single word `all', then all
              login/logout events are reported.  If it contains the single
              word `notme', then all events are reported as with `all' except
              $USERNAME.  An entry in this list may consist of a username, an
              `@' followed by a remote hostname, and a `%' followed by a line
              (tty).  Any or all of these components may be present in an
              entry; if a login/logout event matches all of them, it is

              The format of login/logout reports if the watch parameter is
              set.  Default is `%n has %a %l from %m'.  Recognizes the
              following escape sequences:

              %n     The name of the user that logged in/out.

              %a     The observed action, i.e. "logged on" or "logged off".

              %l     The line (tty) the user is logged in on.

              %M     The full hostname of the remote host.

              %m     The hostname up to the first `.'.  If only the IP address
                     is available or the utmp field contains the name of an
                     X-windows display, the whole name is printed.

                     NOTE: The `%m' and `%M' escapes will work only if there
                     is a host name field in the utmp on your machine.
                     Otherwise they are treated as ordinary strings.

              %S (%s)
                     Start (stop) standout mode.

              %U (%u)
                     Start (stop) underline mode.

              %B (%b)
                     Start (stop) boldface mode.

              %@     The time, in 12-hour, am/pm format.

              %T     The time, in 24-hour format.

              %w     The date in `day-dd' format.

              %W     The date in `mm/dd/yy' format.

              %D     The date in `yy-mm-dd' format.

                     Specifies a ternary expression.  The character following
                     the x is arbitrary; the same character is used to
                     separate the text for the "true" result from that for the
                     "false" result.  Both the separator and the right
                     parenthesis may be escaped with a backslash.  Ternary
                     expressions may be nested.

                     The test character x may be any one of `l', `n', `m' or
                     `M', which indicate a `true' result if the corresponding
                     escape sequence would return a non-empty value; or it may
                     be `a', which indicates a `true' result if the watched
                     user has logged in, or `false' if he has logged out.
                     Other characters evaluate to neither true nor false; the
                     entire expression is omitted in this case.

                     If the result is `true', then the true-text is formatted
                     according to the rules above and printed, and the
                     false-text is skipped.  If `false', the true-text is
                     skipped and the false-text is formatted and printed.
                     Either or both of the branches may be empty, but both
                     separators must be present in any case.

       WORDCHARS <S>
              A list of non-alphanumeric characters considered part of a word
              by the line editor.

       ZBEEP  If set, this gives a string of characters, which can use all the
              same codes as the bindkey command as described in the zsh/zle
              module entry in zshmodules(1), that will be output to the
              terminal instead of beeping.  This may have a visible instead of
              an audible effect; for example, the string `\e[?5h\e[?5l' on a
              vt100 or xterm will have the effect of flashing reverse video on
              and off (if you usually use reverse video, you should use the
              string `\e[?5l\e[?5h' instead).  This takes precedence over the
              NOBEEP option.

              The directory to search for shell startup files (.zshrc, etc),
              if not $HOME.

zsh 4.0.6                       August 14, 2002                    ZSHPARAM(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help