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A cozy shell


Over the years, we've looked at many different shell environments. The vast majority of these attempt to make you more productive either by mimicking the way you might work with a programming language, such as with Microsoft's PowerShell, or old Unix systems with Bash, or even modern search-based shells such as fish. None that we've looked at so far have attempted to make you feel more "cozy," but that's exactly what Dune has been developed to do. Cozy in this sense does need a little qualification, because it's not the kind of cozy you might get from lounging around an open fire with a good book. Instead, it's the kind of cozy you might feel if you were a developer who wants your command line environment to behave more like your IDE.

Dune is described by its author as a "shell by the beach," developed while the author was bored at college. The first thing you see is a neat ASCII art banner with the time and date, followed by a brief introduction into the shell itself. This intro will step you through some of its unique and not-so-unique features, including macros, variables assigned with a let command, and the built-in help system. The features that should help a programmer feel cozy include functions that can be overloaded to create your own customized experience, including the various prompts and output reports. There's also a standard library of functions that are accessed by typing math, showing both useful values and the functions you can use in your own scripts. If you don't use any of these features, Dune will operate just like Bash, only with a slightly different prompt and color scheme and more fun elements such as widgets. But if you do start to modify elements of your environment, Dune makes it a lot of fun and, yes, it can even feel quite cozy.

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Dune isn't even the first shell developed by its author, who also created Atom, which Dune attempts to improve upon.

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