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Remembering the path with tcsh in Terminal/Lion

In Lion, the new version of Terminal remembers your Windows and Tabs, including your scroll history, and with bash, also your path. If you use tcsh (as I have for 20 years or so), then it does not remember your path - here is how to fix it.

A little digging finds that bash sets this up in /etc/bashrc, specifically with update_terminal_cwd which it adds to PROMPT_COMMAND. It is careful to only do this for Apple_Terminal and while not inside Emacs. Since I don't use any other terminals (except TouchTerm on my iPhone) and I don't use Emacs, I've ignored that, but keep in mind there may be cases you need to disable this.

The trick is done by outputting a URL in an escape sequence.

In tcsh, you can set an alias to a command that is run immediately before printing your path, so you can set it to print the magic escape sequence using something like this:

alias precmd ~/perl/update_terminal_cwd.pl

update_terminal_cwd.pl duplicates the behaviour of update_terminal_cwd in /etc/bashrc:

#!/usr/bin/perl

my $pwd = $ENV{PWD};
$pwd =~ s! !%20!g;
$pwd = "file://$ENV{HOSTNAME}$pwd";
printf( "\e]7;%s\a", $pwd );

Add the alias to you .login and Terminal will remember your paths in tcsh too.

Posted Sunday, August 7, 2011. Permalink. Post a Comment.

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