Getting Started with the GNO Shell

" Computer operating systems are among the most complex objects created by mankind... " -- Douglas Comer, Operating System Design, the XINU Approach


The GNO shell is an integral part of the GNO Multitasking Environment (GNO/ME). The GNO shell provides the interface between the user and the GNO Kernel. While both work together, the jobs they perform are quite different. This manual documents the functions of the shell.

The user interacts with the shell through a command-line interface. Command-line interfaces provide a unique way of interacting with the operating system. Unlike GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces), with which you are already familiar with by using programs such as the Finder and ShrinkIt! GS, all commands are typically entered using the keyboard. The shell interprets commands and passes them to the kernel for control and execution.

The command-line interface will be unfamiliar to some people However, once the command-line interface has been mastered, the user should have no difficulty using any current or future GNO applications. Those of you already familiar with Unix interfaces, such as the C shell, Bourne shell, and Korn shell, or the ORCA shell on the Apple IIGS, will begin to realize the advantages which GNO/ME is able to provide.

The way this manual is presented allows the complete beginner to simply work through the chapters in a chronological prder. the Chapter called Interacting with the GNO Shell familiarises the user with entering basic commands whereas the more powerful GNO/ME features are introduced in the Chapter called Using the GNO Shell More Productively. the Chapter called Builtin Command Reference documents the commands which are built into the GNO Shell and the Chapter called Shell Variables explains shell variables which give the user control over how their installation functions.