simple shell containing Tcl interpreter
tclsh [-qn] [-f]
[script]|[-c command] [args]
tclsh is a shell-like application that reads Tcl
commands from its standard input or from a file, and
evaluates them. If invoked with no arguments then it runs
interactively, reading Tcl commands from standard input and
printing command results and error messages to standard
output. It runs until the
command is invoked or until it reaches end-of-file on its
standard input. If a file called .tclshrc exists
in the home directory of the user, tclsh
evaluates the file as a Tcl script just before reading the
first command from standard input.
If script is specified, then the script is
executed non-interactively with any additional arguments,
args, being supplied in the global Tcl variable
argv. If command is supplied, then this
command (or semicolon-separated series of commands) is
executed, with argv containing any
The Tcl shell is intended as an environment for Tcl program
development and execution. While it is not a full-featured
interactive shell, it provides a comfortable environment
for the interactive development of Tcl code. Note that the
package library code described here overrides the
unknown command provided as part of the standard
Berkeley Tcl library facility, although Tcl source
libraries coded to that standard can be loaded and used by
The following command-line flags are recognized by the Tcl
shell command line parser:
If you create a Tcl script in a file whose first line is
Quick initialization flag. The Tcl initialization file is
not evaluated and the auto_path variable is not
set. Tcl auto-load libraries will not be available.
No procedure call stack dump. The procedure call stack
will not be displayed when an error occurs, only the error
message. Useful in the ``#!'' line of already debugged
Takes the next argument as a script for Tcl to source,
rather than entering interactive mode. The -f
flag is optional. Normally the first argument that does
not start with a ``-'' is taken as the script to
execute unless the -c option is specified. Any
following arguments are passed to the script via
argv, thus any other Tcl shell command-line flags
must precede this option.
Take the next argument as a Tcl command to execute. It may
contain series of commands to execute, separated by
``;''. Any following arguments are passed in
argv, thus, as with -f, any other Tcl
shell flags must precede this option.
Mark the end of the arguments to the Tcl shell. All
arguments following this are passed in the Tcl variable
argv. This is useful to pass arguments without
attempting to execute a Tcl script.
then you can invoke the script file directly from your
shell if you mark the file as executable.
tclsh sets the following Tcl variables:
Contains the name of the Tcl program specified on the
command line or the name that the Tcl shell was invoked
under if no program was specified.
Contains a count of the number of argv arguments
(0 if none).
A list containing the arguments passed in from the command
line, excluding arguments used by the Tcl shell. The first
element is the first passed argument, not the program
Set to 1 if the Tcl shell is invoked interactively, or 0 if
the Tcl shell is directly executing a script. Scripts can
check whether this variable should function as a standalone
application if specified on the command line, or simply
load it in and not execute it, if loaded during an
interactive invocation of Tcl.
Path to search to locate Tcl scripts. Used by the
auto_load command and the
command handler. The path is a Tcl list of directory
Contains code to generate the prompt used when
interactively prompting for commands.
Contains code to generate the prompt used when
interactively prompting for continuation of an incomplete
Array that contains information used internally by various
Tcl procedures that are part of the TclX shell.
When tclsh is invoked interactively it normally
prompts for each command with ``% ''. You can
change the prompt by setting the variables
tcl_prompt1 and tcl_prompt2. If
variable tcl_prompt1 exists then it must consist
of a Tcl script to output a prompt; instead of outputting
a prompt tclsh will evaluate the script in
tcl_prompt1. The variable tcl_prompt2
is used in a similar way when a newline is typed but the
current command isn't yet complete; if
tcl_prompt2 isn't set then no prompt is output
for incomplete commands.
The result string returned by a command executed from the
command line is normally echoed back to the user. If an
error occurs, then the result string is displayed, along
with the error message. The error message will be preceded
by the string ``Error:''.
The set command is a special case. If the
command is called to set a variable (that is, with two
arguments), then the result will not be echoed. If only
one argument, the name of a variable, is supplied to
set, then the result will be echoed.
If an unknown Tcl command is entered from the command line,
then the UNIX command path, specified in the environment
variable PATH, will be searched for a command of
the same name. If the command is found, it will be
executed with any arguments remaining on the Tcl command
line being passed as arguments to the command. This
feature is provided to enhance the interactive environment
for developing Tcl scripts. Automatic execution of
programs in this manner is only supported from the command
line, not in script files in Tcl. Scripts should use the
Tcl exec or system commands to run
The standard runtime files reside in the Tcl master
directory. This master directory normally contains the Tcl
initialization file (TclInit.tcl), the standard
Tcl library file (tcl.tlib) and the help files.
The Tcl master directory is named after the version of Tcl
it is associated with, for example
/usr/local/tclX/7.0a. The path to the Tcl master
directory is available from the info library
command. The location of the Tcl master directory can be
overridden with the TCL_LIBRARY environment
The first step in initializing the Tcl shell is to locate
the Tcl initialization file, normally
TclInit.tcl. If an environment variable
TCLINIT exists, it contains the path to the Tcl
initialization file. If the TCLINIT environment
variable is not set, the file TclInit.tcl is used
from the default Tcl master directory.
Tcl then evaluates the Tcl initialization file. The
auto_path variable is initialized to the Tcl
master directory and may be augmented by the initialization
file or the application. Other procedures and variables
used by the Extended Tcl shell are also defined by this
If the Tcl is invoked interactively, it will source a file
named .tclrc in the user's home directory, if it
exists. Tcl is viewed primarily as a programming language,
not as an interactive shell, so the .tclrc is
intended for loading development utilities, not for
supporting applications, which should not have to rely on
the user's environment in such a manner.
25 April 2004
© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 25 April 2004