A ScreenShell (ss) is a visual interface for the UNIX operating system. ScreenShell gives you an easy to use management tool for viewing, editing, moving, and copying the files and directories. In the specific cases ScreenShell can use a shell command but allows editing the command line in the dialog mode. Therefore ss allows 90% of all command to be executed by hitting 1 or 2 keys and only 10% of cases requires an in line command.

  • Background:

    ScreenShell can run as a regular command and it can be used as a default command interpreter.
    After starting the ScreenShell displays the content of the current directory in a table form. The cursor is positioned near one of files and the user is promted for a command.
    The user can move the cursor to the required file and press one of the function keys. In this case ScreenShell will execute the command that is associated with the chosen function key and as well as the type of a file. For instance if 'Enter' button has been pressed near a text file the text editor will be invoked.

    Commands executed using the function keys are listed in configuration files. Screen Shall has 3 such files: /usr/local/etc/.ss, ~/.ss and .ss from the current directory. The first two files are read when the program is starting, the last one is read when a user is changing the current directory. Therefore the system administrator can customize the set of command for each user.

  • Benefits:

    For instance you want to copy directory (including sub directories and all files) to the new place. Sure, you can use the shell command, but then you need to remember and type the name of the target directory, while with ss you navigate up and down the directory tree visually. In case of shell the command will looks like:
    (cd source_directory; tar -cpf - . ) | (cd new_place; tar -xpf - );
    For typing it you should have as minimum a good knowledge of the shell command language. In case of ScreenShell you can make the same result using only 3 buttons. If you are programmer, you are often using commands like:
    g++ -O2 -g -pthread file.c -lcurses -lthread -o file
    In case of ScreenShell you can run this command using one key. The net result - ss gives you the power and functionality of line commands, but saves you time on typing.

  • Hardware and software requirements:

    Any clone of Unix. No specific requirements.

  • Questions? Mail to:
    Tested for RedHat 7.2 and FreeBSD 4.4
    Autor: Alexander Lashenko Toronto, Canada.