The quoting rules for native Windows shells and Cygwin shells have some subtle differences. When Emacs spawns subprocesses, it tries to determine whether the process is a Cygwin program and changes its quoting mechanism appropriately. See this previous discussion for details.
Programs that explicitly use a handle to the console (CON or
CON:) instead of stdin and stdout cannot be used as
subprocesses to Emacs, and they will also not work in shell-mode. The
default ftp client on Windows is an example of such a program - this
ftp program is mostly fine for use with
tramp, but not for M-x ftp (see How do I use FTP within Emacs). There is no convenient way for either Emacs
or any shell used in
shell-mode to redirect the input and
output of such processes from the console to input and output pipes.
The only workaround is to use a different implementation of the
program that does not use the console directly. Microsoft's new
PowerShell appears to be another such program, so that cannot be used
as a replacement shell for Emacs.
You may notice that some programs, when run in a shell in
have their output buffered (e.g., people have found this happening to
sql-mode). When the program has a lot of output, it
overflows the buffering and gets printed to the shell buffer; however,
if the program only outputs a small amount of text, it will remain
buffered and won't appear in the shell buffer. The same can happen
in other subprocesses that themselves run other programs as
subprocesses, for example when using cvs from Emacs, which
is itself configured to use ssh, password prompts fail to
appear when expected, and cvs appears to hang.
Although it may at first seem like the shell is buffering the output from the program, it is actually the program that is buffering output. The C runtime typically decides how to buffer output based upon whether stdout is bound to a handle to a console window or not. If bound to a console window, output is buffered line by line; if bound to a block device, such as a file, output is buffered block by block.
In a shell buffer, stdout is a pipe handle and so is buffered in
blocks. If you would like the buffering behavior of your program to
behave differently, the program itself is going to have to be changed;
you can use
setvbuf to manipulate
the buffering semantics.
Some programs handle this by having an explicit flag to control their buffering behaviour, typically -i for interactive. Other programs manage to detect that they are running under Emacs, by using ‘getenv("emacs")’ internally.
A handy solution for Perl scripts to the above problem is to use:
# Turn all buffering off. select((select(STDOUT), $| = 1)); select((select(STDERR), $| = 1)); select((select(STDIN), $| = 1));
If you are finding the 16 bit DOS subprocesses cause your A: drive to be accessed, hanging Emacs until the read times out if there is no floppy in the drive, check to see if your virus software is causing the problem.
Emacs cannot guarantee that a subprocess gets killed on Windows 95 and its descendants, and it is a difficult limitation to work around. To avoid problems on these systems, you should let subprocesses run to completion including explicitly exiting shells before killing the associated buffer.
If you find that while shutting down, Windows complains that there is a running cmdproxy.exe even though you carefully exited all shells and none were showing in Task Manager before the shutdown, this could be due to buggy interaction with your virus scanner.
When an EOF is sent to a subprocess running in an interactive shell
process-send-eof, the shell terminates unexpectedly as
if its input was closed. This affects the use of C-c C-d in
shell buffers. See
this discussion for more details.
You can start an interactive shell in Emacs by typing M-x shell.
Emacs uses the SHELL environment variable to determine which
program to use as the shell. To instruct Emacs to use a non-default
shell, you can either set this environment variable, or customize
explicit-shell-file-name. You can also customize
shell-file-name to change the shell that will be used by
subprocesses that are started with
related non-interactive shell commands.
Cygwin bash is a popular shell for use with Emacs. To use bash as the default shell in Emacs, you can place the following in your init file:
(defun my-shell-setup () "For Cygwin bash under Emacs 20" (setq comint-scroll-show-maximum-output 'this) (make-variable-buffer-local 'comint-completion-addsuffix)) (setq comint-completion-addsuffix t) ;; (setq comint-process-echoes t) ;; reported that this is no longer needed (setq comint-eol-on-send t) (setq w32-quote-process-args ?\") (setq shell-mode-hook 'my-shell-setup)
If you find that you are having trouble with Emacs tracking drive changes with bash, see Mike Fabian's note.
WARNING: Some versions of bash set and use the environment variable PID. For some as yet unknown reason, if PID is set and Emacs passes it on to bash subshells, bash dies (Emacs can inherit the PID variable if it's started from a bash shell). If you clear the PID variable in your init file, you should be able to continue to use bash as your subshell:
(setenv "PID" nil)
The package cygwin-mount.el teaches Emacs about Cygwin mount points.
Dired uses an internal lisp implementation of ls by default on Windows. For consistent display of symbolic links and other information with other programs (eg Cygwin) and performance reasons, you may want to use a Windows port of ls instead.
(setq ls-lisp-use-insert-directory-program t) ;; use external ls (setq insert-directory-program "c:/cygwin/bin/ls") ;; ls program name
Some shells echo the commands that you send to them, and the echoed commands appear in the output buffer. In particular, the default shells, command.com and cmd.exe, have this behavior.
To prevent echoed commands from being printed, you can place the following in your init file:
(defun my-comint-init () (setq comint-process-echoes t)) (add-hook 'comint-mode-hook 'my-comint-init)
shell-mode still is not stripping echoed commands, then
you'll have to explicitly tell the shell to not echo commands. You can
do this by setting the
appropriately; where SHELL is the value of your SHELL
environment variable (do a M-: (getenv "SHELL") to see what it
is currently set to). Assuming that you are on NT and that your
SHELL environment variable is set to cmd.exe,
then placing the following in your init file will tell
cmd.exe to not echo commands:
(setq explicit-cmd.exe-args '("/q"))
The comint package will use the value of this variable as an argument to cmd.exe every time it starts up a new shell; the /q is the argument to cmd.exe that stops the echoing (invoking ‘cmd /?’ in a shell will show you all of the command line arguments to cmd.exe).
Note that this variable is case sensitive; if the value of your
SHELL environment variable is CMD.EXE instead, then
this variable needs to be named
The character appended to directory names when completing in a shell
buffer is controlled by the variable
See its documentation (with C-h v) for details.
This might happen if, for example, you invoke nmake in a shell and it tries to create sub-shells. The problem happens because when the shell is initially created, the first argument to the shell is not the directory in which the shell program resides. When this happens, command.com fabricates a value for its COMSPEC environment variable that is incorrect. Then, when other programs go to use COMSPEC to find the shell, they are given the wrong value.
The fix for this is to either prevent any arguments from being sent to the shell when it starts up (in which case command.com will use a default, and correct, value for COMSPEC), or to have the first argument be the directory in which the shell executable resides.
Some anti-virus software has been reported to cause problems with shells in the past. Try turning off options such as “Scan all files”. See What known problems are there with anti-virus software?.