(xemacs.info)Single Shell

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26.7.1 Single Shell Commands

`M-!' (`shell-command') reads a line of text using the minibuffer and
creates an inferior shell to execute the line as a command.  Standard
input from the command comes from the null device.  If the shell
command produces any output, the output goes to an XEmacs buffer named
`*Shell Command Output*', which is displayed in another window but not
selected.  A numeric argument, as in `M-1 M-!', directs this command to
insert any output into the current buffer.  In that case, point is left
before the output and the mark is set after the output.

   `M-|' (`shell-command-on-region') is like `M-!' but passes the
contents of the region as input to the shell command, instead of no
input.  If a numeric argument is used to direct  output to the current
buffer, then the old region is deleted first and the output replaces it
as the contents of the region.

   Both `M-!' and `M-|' use `shell-file-name' to specify the shell to
use.  This variable is initialized based on your `SHELL' environment
variable when you start XEmacs.  If the file name does not specify a
directory, the directories in the list `exec-path' are searched; this
list is initialized based on the `PATH' environment variable when you
start XEmacs.  You can override either or both of these default
initializations in your init file. Note: Init File.

   When you use `M-!' and `M-|', XEmacs has to wait until the shell
command completes.  You can quit with `C-g'; that terminates the shell

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