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36 Running Shell Commands from Emacs

Emacs has commands for passing single command lines to shell subprocesses, and for running a shell interactively with input and output to an Emacs buffer, and for running a shell in a terminal emulator window.

M-! cmd <RET>
Run the shell command cmd and display the output (shell-command).
M-| cmd <RET>
Run the shell command cmd with region contents as input; optionally replace the region with the output (shell-command-on-region).
M-& cmd <RET>
Run the shell command cmd asynchronously, and display the output (async-shell-command).
M-x shell
Run a subshell with input and output through an Emacs buffer. You can then give commands interactively.
M-x term
Run a subshell with input and output through an Emacs buffer. You can then give commands interactively. Full terminal emulation is available.

Whenever you specify a relative file name for an executable program (either in the cmd argument to one of the above commands, or in other contexts), Emacs searches for the program in the directories specified by the variable exec-path. The value of this variable must be a list of directory names; the default value is initialized from the environment variable PATH when Emacs is started (see General Variables).

M-x eshell invokes a shell implemented entirely in Emacs. It is documented in its own manual. See Eshell.