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Zsh Modules


Some optional parts of zsh are in modules, separate from the core of the shell. Each of these modules may be linked in to the shell at build time, or can be dynamically linked while the shell is running if the installation supports this feature. The modules available are:

Builtins for manipulating POSIX.1e (POSIX.6) capability (privilege) sets.
A builtin that can clone a running shell onto another terminal.
Base of the completion system. Used by the compctl and zle modules.
The compctl builtin for controlling completion and the builtins for completion widgets.
Completion listing extensions.
A ZLE function duplicating EMACS' zap-to-char.
An example of how to write a module.
Some basic file manipulation commands as builtins.
Access to external files via a special associative array.
Access to internal hash tables via special associative arrays.
A builtin that provides a timed execution facility within the shell.
A builtin command interface to the stat system call.
A builtin FTP client.
The Zsh Line Editor, including the bindkey and vared builtins.

The cap Module

The cap module is used for manipulating POSIX.1e (POSIX.6) capability sets. If the operating system does not support this interface, the builtins defined by this module will do nothing. The builtins in this module are:

cap [ capabilities ]
Change the shell's process capability sets to the specified capabilities, otherwise display the shell's current capabilities.
getcap filename ...
This is a built-in implementation of the POSIX standard utility. It displays the capability sets on each specified filename.
setcap capabilities filename ...
This is a built-in implementation of the POSIX standard utility. It sets the capability sets on each specified filename to the specified capabilities.

The clone Module

The clone module makes available one builtin command:

clone tty
Creates a forked instance of the current shell, attached to the specified tty. In the new shell, the PID, PPID and TTY special parameters are changed appropriately. $! is set to zero in the new shell, and to the new shell's PID in the original shell.

The return value of the builtin is zero in both shells if successful, and non-zero on error.

The comp1 Module

The comp1 module does nothing that is visible to the user. Its purpose is to provide the internal basis of the programmable completion mechanism.

This module must be loaded before any module that provides a means of controlling completion (such as the compctl module), or that uses completions (such as the zle module). This is done automatically for modules distributed with zsh, and for other modules can be effected by the use of zmodload -d.

The compctl Module

The compctl module makes available several builtin commands. compctl, is the standard way to control completions for ZLE. See section Programmable Completion Using compctl. The other builtin commands can be used in user-defined completion widgets, see section Completion Widgets.

The complist Module

The complist module offers two extensions to completion listings: the ability to highlight matches in such a list and a different style of menu-completion.

Whenever one of the parameters ZLS_COLORS or ZLS_COLOURS is set and the complist module is loaded or linked into the shell, completion lists will be colored. Note, however, that complist will not automatically be loaded if it is not linked in: on systems with dynamic loading, `zmodload complist' is required.


The parameters ZLS_COLORS and ZLS_COLOURS describe how matches are highlighted. To turn on highlighting an empty value suffices, in which case all the default values given below will be used. The format of the value of these parameters is the same as used by the GNU version of the ls command: a colon-separated list of specifications of the form `name=value'. The name may be one of the following strings, most of which specify file types for which the value will be used. The strings and their default values are:

no 0
for normal text (i.e. when displaying something other than a matched file)
fi 0
for regular files
di 32
for directories
ln 36
for symbolic links
pi 31
for named pipes (FIFOs)
so 33
for sockets
bd 44;37
for block devices
cd 44;37
for character devices
ex 35
for executable files
mi none
for non-existent file (default is the value defined for fi)
lc \e[
for the left code (see below)
rc m
for the right code
ec none
for the end code

Apart from these strings, the name may also be an asterisk (`*') followed by any string. The value given for such a string will be used for all files whose name ends with the string.

When printing a match, the code prints the value of lc, the value for the file-type or the last matching specification with a `*', the value of rc, the string to display for the match itself, and then the value of ec if that is defined or the values of lc, no, and rc if ec is not defined.

The default values are ISO 6429 (ANSI) compliant and can be used on vt100 compatible terminals such as xterms. On monochrome terminals the default values will have no visual effect.

Menu selection

The complist module also offers an alternative style of selecting matches from a list, called menu-selection, which can be used if the shell is set up to return to the last prompt after showing a completion list (see the ALWAYS_LAST_PROMPT option in section Options). It can be invoked directly by the widget menu-select defined by the module. Alternatively, the parameter SELECTMIN can be set to an integer, which give the minimum number of matches that must be present before menu selection is automatically turned on. This second method requires that menu completion be started, either directly from a widget such as menu-complete, or due to one of the options MENU_COMPLETE or AUTO_MENU being set. If SELECTMIN is set, but is 0, 1 or empty, menu selection will always be started during an ambiguous menu completion.

After menu-selection is started, the matches will be listed. The matches to insert into the command line can be selected from this list. In the list one match is highlighted using the value for ma from the ZLS_COLORS or ZLS_COLOURS parameter. The default value for this it `7' which forces the selected match to be highlighted using standout mode on a vt100-compatible terminal. If neither ZLS_COLORS nor ZLS_COLOURS is set, the same terminal control sequence as for the `%S' escape in prompts is used.

Selecting matches is done by moving the mark around using the zle movement functions. The zle functions send-break and accept-line can be used to leave menu-selection, leaving the match currently inserted into the line in place. In the case of accept-line, the match currently inserted will be accepted and a new completion may be attempted. Using send-break leaves menu-selection and continues with normal menu-completion. The functions accept-and-hold and accept-and-menu-complete can be used to accept the match currently inserted and continue inserting matches from the same list. The function accept-and-infer-next-history accepts the current match and then tries completion with menu-selection again. In the case of files this allows one to select a directory and immediately attempt to complete files in it. Matches inserted in one of these ways can be removed by invoking the undo function. Keys bound to one of the completion functions will cycle to the next (or, in case of reverse-menu-complete, the previous) match, and the redisplay and clear-screen functions work as usual without leaving menu-selection.

Any other zle function leaves menu-selection and executes that function. It is possible to make widgets in the above list do the same by using the form of the widget with a `.' in front. For example, the widget `.accept-line' has the effect of leaving menu selection and accepting the entire command line.

During this selection the widget uses the keymap menuselect. Any key that is not defined in this keymap or that is bound to undefined-key is looked up in the keymap currently selected. This is used to ensure that the most important keys used during selection have sensible default (namely the cursor keys, return, and TAB). However, keys in the the menuselect keymap can be modified directly using the bindkey builtin command (see section The zle Module). For example, to make the return key leave menu-selection and continue with normal menu-completion one can call

bindkey -M menuselect '^M' send-break

after loading the complist module.

The deltochar Module

The deltochar module makes available one ZLE function:

Read a character from the keyboard, and delete from the cursor position up to and including the next (or, with repeat count n, the nth) instance of that character.

The example Module

The example module makes available one builtin command:

example [ -flags ] [ args ... ]
Displays the flags and arguments it is invoked with.

The purpose of the module is to serve as an example of how to write a module.

The files Module

The files module makes some standard commands available as builtins:

ln [ -dfis ] filename dest
ln [ -dfis ] filename ... dir
Creates hard (or, with -s, symbolic) links. In the first form, the specified destination is created, as a link to the specified filename. In the second form, each of the filenames is taken in turn, and linked to a pathname in the specified directory that has the same last pathname component.

Normally, ln will not attempt to create hard links to directories. This check can be overridden using the -d option. Typically only the super-user can actually succeed in creating hard links to directories. This does not apply to symbolic links in any case.

By default, existing files cannot be replaced by links. The -i option causes the user to be queried about replacing existing files. The -f option causes existing files to be silently deleted, without querying. -f takes precedence.

mkdir [ -p ] [ -m mode ] dir ...
Creates directories. With the -p option, non-existing parent directories are first created if necessary, and there will be no complaint if the directory already exists. The -m option can be used to specify (in octal) a set of file permissions for the created directories, otherwise mode 777 modified by the current umask (see man page umask(2)) is used.
mv [ -fi ] filename dest
mv [ -fi ] filename ... dir
Moves files. In the first form, the specified filename is moved to the specified destination. In the second form, each of the filenames is taken in turn, and moved to a pathname in the specified directory that has the same last pathname component.

By default, the user will be queried before replacing any file that the user cannot write to, but writable files will be silently removed. The -i option causes the user to be queried about replacing any existing files. The -f option causes any existing files to be silently deleted, without querying. -f takes precedence.

Note that this mv will not move files across devices. Historical versions of mv, when actual renaming is impossible, fall back on copying and removing files; if this behaviour is desired, use cp and rm manually. This may change in a future version.

rm [ -dfirs ] filename ...
Removes files and directories specified.

Normally, rm will not remove directories (except with the -r option). The -d option causes rm to try removing directories with unlink (see man page unlink(2)), the same method used for files. Typically only the super-user can actually succeed in unlinking directories in this way. -d takes precedence over -r.

By default, the user will be queried before removing any file that the user cannot write to, but writable files will be silently removed. The -i option causes the user to be queried about removing any files. The -f option causes files to be silently deleted, without querying, and suppresses all error indications. -f takes precedence.

The -r option causes rm to recursively descend into directories, deleting all files in the directory before removing the directory with the rmdir system call (see man page rmdir(2)).

The -s option is a zsh extension to rm functionality. It enables paranoid behaviour, intended to avoid common security problems involving a root-run rm being tricked into removing files other than the ones intended. It will refuse to follow symbolic links, so that (for example) "rm /tmp/foo/passwd'' can't accidentally remove /etc/passwd if /tmp/foo happens to be a link to /etc. It will also check where it is after leaving directories, so that a recursive removal of a deep directory tree can't end up recursively removing /usr as a result of directories being moved up the tree.

rmdir dir ...
Removes empty directories specified.
Calls the system call of the same name (see man page sync(2)), which flushes dirty buffers to disk. It might return before the I/O has actually been completed.

The mapfile Module

The mapfile module provides one special associative array parameter of the same name.

This associative array takes as keys the names of files; the resulting value is the content of the file. The value is treated identically to any other text coming from a parameter. The value may also be assigned to, in which case the file in question is written (whether or not it originally existed); or an element may be unset, which will delete the file in question. For example, `vared mapfile[myfile]' works as expected, editing the file `myfile'.

When the array is accessed as a whole, the keys are the names of files in the current directory, and the values are empty (to save a huge overhead in memory). Thus ${(k)mapfile} has the same affect as the glob operator *(D), since files beginning with a dot are not special. Care must be taken with expressions such as rm ${(k)mapfile}, which will delete every file in the current directory without the usual `rm *' test.

The parameter mapfile may be made read-only; in that case, files referenced may not be written or deleted.


Although reading and writing of the file in question is efficiently handled, zsh's internal memory management may be arbitrarily baroque. Thus it should not automatically be assumed that use of mapfile represents a gain in efficiency over use of other mechanisms. Note in particular that the whole contents of the file will always reside physically in memory when accessed (possibly multiple times, due to standard parameter substitution operations). In particular, this means handling of sufficiently long files (greater than the machine's swap space, or than the range of the pointer type) will be incorrect.

No errors are printed or flagged for non-existent, unreadable, or unwritable files, as the parameter mechanism is too low in the shell execution hierarchy to make this convenient.

It is unfortunate that the mechanism for loading modules does not yet allow the user to specify the name of the shell parameter to be given the special behaviour.

The parameter Module

The parameter module gives access to some of the internal hash tables used by the shell, by defining four special associative arrays.

The keys for this associative array are the names of the options that can be set and unset using the setopt and unsetopt builtins. The value of each key is either the string on if the option is currently set, or the string off if the option is unset. Setting a key to one of these strings is like setting or unsetting the option, respectively. Unsetting a key in this array is like setting it to the value off.
This array gives access to the command hash table. The keys are the names of external commands, the values are the pathnames of the files that would be executed when the command would be invoked. Setting a key in this array defines a new entry in this table in the same way as with the hash builtin. Unsetting a key as in `unset "commands[foo]"' removes the entry for the given key from the command hash table.
This association maps function names to their definitions. Setting a key in it is like defining a function with the name given by the key and the body given by the value. Unsetting a key removes the definition for the function named by the key.
The keys in this associative array are the names of the parameters currently defined. The values are strings describing the type of the parameter, in the same format used by the t parameter flag, see section Parameter Expansion . Setting or unsetting keys in this array is not possible.

The sched Module

The sched module makes available one builtin command:

sched [+]hh:mm command ...
sched [ -item ]
Make an entry in the scheduled list of commands to execute. The time may be specified in either absolute or relative time. With no arguments, prints the list of scheduled commands. With the argument `-item', removes the given item from the list.

The stat Module

The stat module makes available one builtin command:

stat [ -gnNlLtTrs ] [ -f fd ] [ -H hash ] [ -A array ] [ -F fmt ] [ +element ] [ file ... ]
The command acts as a front end to the stat system call (see man page stat(2)). If the stat call fails, the appropriate system error message printed and status 1 is returned. The fields of struct stat give information about the files provided as arguments to the command. In addition to those available from the stat call, an extra element `link' is provided. These elements are:

The number of the device on which the file resides.
The unique number of the file on this device (`inode' number).
The mode of the file; that is, the file's type and access permissions. With the -s option, this will be returned as a string corresponding to the first column in the display of the ls -l command.
The number of hard links to the file.
The user ID of the owner of the file. With the -s option, this is displayed as a user name.
The group ID of the file. With the -s option, this is displayed as a group name.
The raw device number. This is only useful for special devices.
The size of the file in bytes.
The last access, modification and inode change times of the file, respectively, as the number of seconds since midnight GMT on 1st January, 1970. With the -s option, these are printed as strings for the local time zone; the format can be altered with the -F option, and with the -g option the times are in GMT.
The number of bytes in one allocation block on the device on which the file resides.
The number of disk blocks used by the file.
If the file is a link and the -L option is in effect, this contains the name of the file linked to, otherwise it is empty. Note that if this element is selected ("stat +link'') then the -L option is automatically used.

A particular element may be selected by including its name preceded by a `+' in the option list; only one element is allowed. The element may be shortened to any unique set of leading characters. Otherwise, all elements will be shown for all files.


-A array
Instead of displaying the results on standard output, assign them to an array, one struct stat element per array element for each file in order. In this case neither the name of the element nor the name of the files appears in array unless the -t or -n options were given, respectively. If -t is given, the element name appears as a prefix to the appropriate array element; if -n is given, the file name appears as a separate array element preceding all the others. Other formatting options are respected.
-H hash
Similar to -A, but instead assign the values to hash. The keys are the elements listed above. If the -n option is provided then the name of the file is included in the hash with key name.
-f fd
Use the file on file descriptor fd instead of named files; no list of file names is allowed in this case.
-F fmt
Supplies a strftime (see man page strftime(3)) string for the formatting of the time elements. The -s option is implied.
Show the time elements in the GMT time zone. The -s option is implied.
List the names of the type elements (to standard output or an array as appropriate) and return immediately; options other than -A and arguments are ignored.
Perform an lstat (see man page lstat(2)) rather than a stat system call. In this case, if the file is a link, information about the link itself rather than the target file is returned. This option is required to make the link element useful.
Always show the names of files. Usually these are only shown when output is to standard output and there is more than one file in the list.
Never show the names of files.
Print raw data (the default format) alongside string data (the -s format); the string data appears in parentheses after the raw data.
Print mode, uid, gid and the three time elements as strings instead of numbers. In each case the format is like that of ls -l.
Always show the type names for the elements of struct stat. Usually these are only shown when output is to standard output and no individual element has been selected.
Never show the type names of the struct stat elements.

The zftp Module

The zftp module makes available one builtin command:

zftp subcommand [ args ]
The zftp module is a client for FTP (file transfer protocol). It is implemented as a builtin to allow full use of shell command line editing, file I/O, and job control mechanisms. Often, users will access it via shell functions providing a more powerful interface; a set is provided with the zsh distribution and is described in section Zftp Function System. However, the zftp command is entirely usable in its own right.

All commands consist of the command name zftp followed by the name of a subcommand. These are listed below. The return status of each subcommand is supposed to reflect the success or failure of the remote operation. See a description of the variable ZFTP_VERBOSE for more information on how responses from the server may be printed.


open host [ user [ password [ account ] ] ]
Open a new FTP session to host, which may be the name of a TCP/IP connected host or an IP number in the standard dot notation. Remaining arguments are passed to the login subcommand. Note that if no arguments beyond host are supplied, open will not automatically call login. If no arguments at all are supplied, open will use the parameters set by the params subcommand.

After a successful open, the shell variables ZFTP_HOST, ZFTP_IP and ZFTP_SYSTEM are available; see `Variables' below.

login [ name [ password [ account ] ] ]
user [ name [ password [ account ] ] ]
Login the user name with parameters password and account. Any of the parameters can be omitted, and will be read from standard input if needed (name is always needed). If standard input is a terminal, a prompt for each one will be printed on standard error and password will not be echoed. If any of the parameters are not used, a warning message is printed.

After a successful login, the shell variables ZFTP_USER, ZFTP_ACCOUNT and ZFTP_PWD are available; see `Variables' below.

This command may be re-issued when a user is already logged in, and the server will first be reinitialized for a new user.

params [ host [ user [ password [ account ] ] ] ]
params -
Store the given parameters for a later open command with no arguments. Only those given on the command line will be remembered. Any of the parameters may, however, be specified as a `?', which may need to be quoted to protect it from shell expansion: in this case, the appropriate parameter will be read from stdin as with the login subcommand, including special handling of password.

If no arguments are given, the parameters currently set are printed, although the password will appear as a line of stars.

If instead a single `-' is given, the existing parameters, if any, are deleted. In that case, calling open with no arguments will cause an error.

The list of parameters is not deleted after a close, however it will be deleted if the zftp module is unloaded.

For example,

zftp params ftp.elsewhere.xx juser '?'

will store the host ftp.elsewhere.xx and the user juser and then prompt the user for the corresponding password.

This command may also be used to set up a transfer which then takes place completely in the background, freeing zftp for concurrent foreground use. For example,

zftp params ftp.soreeyes.ca bubble squeak
(zftp open; zftp get foo >bar; zftp close) &

--- here, the connection is restricted to a background subshell and you are free to open a simultaneous connection in the foreground.

Test the connection; if the server has reported that it has closed the connection (maybe due to a timeout), return status 2; if no connection was open anyway, return status 1; else return status 0. The test subcommand is silent, apart from messages printed by the $ZFTP_VERBOSE mechanism, or error messages if the connection closes. There is no network overhead for this test.

The test is only supported on systems with either the select(2) or poll(2) system calls; otherwise the message not supported on this system is printed instead.

It is useful to put the code

[[ -n $ZFTP_HOST ]] && zftp test

into the shell function precmd for testing the connection before every prompt. However, zftp will call test at the start of any other subcommand when a connection is open.

cd directory
Change the remote directory to directory. Also alters the shell variable ZFTP_PWD.
Change the remote directory to the one higher in the directory tree. Note that cd .. will also work correctly on non-UNIX systems.
dir [ args... ]
Give a (verbose) listing of the remote directory. The args are passed directly to the server. The command's behaviour is implementation dependent, but a UNIX server will typically interpret args as arguments to the ls command and with no arguments return the result of `ls -l'. The directory is listed to standard output.
ls [ args ]
Give a (short) listing of the remote directory. With no args, produces a raw list of the files in the directory, one per line. Otherwise, up to vagaries of the server implementation, behaves similar to dir.
type [ type ]
Change the type for transfer to type, or print the current type if type is absent. The allowed values are `A' (ASCII), `I' (Image, i.e. binary), or `B' (a synonym for `I').

The FTP default for a transfer is ASCII. However, if zftp finds that the remote host is a UNIX machine with 8-bit byes, it will automatically switch to using binary for file transfers upon open. This can subsequently be overridden.

The transfer type is only passed to the remote host when a data connection is established; this command involves no network overhead.

The same as type A.
The same as type I.
mode [ S | B ]
Set the mode type to stream (S) or block (B). Stream mode is the default; block mode is not widely supported.
remote files...
local [ files... ]
Print the size and last modification time of the remote or local files. If there is more than one item on the list, the name of the file is printed first. The first number is the file size, the second is the last modification time of the file in the format CCYYMMDDhhmmSS consisting of year, month, date, hour, minutes and seconds in GMT. Note that this format, including the length, is guaranteed, so that time strings can be directly compared via the [[ builtin's < and > operators, even if they are too long to be represented as integers.

Not all servers support the commands for retrieving this information. In that case, the remote command will print nothing and return status 2, compared with status 1 for a file not found.

The local command (but not remote) may be used with no arguments, in which case the information comes from examining file descriptor zero. This is the same file as seen by a put command with no further redirection.

get file [...]
Retrieve all files from the server, concatenating them and sending them to standard output.
put file [...]
For each file, read a file from standard input and send that to the remote host with the given name.
append file [...]
As put, but if the remote file already exists, data is appended to it instead of overwriting it.
getat file point
putat file point
appendat file point
Versions of get, put and append which will start the transfer at the given point in the remote file. This is useful for appending to an incomplete local file. However, note that this ability is not universally supported by servers (and is not quite the behaviour specified by the standard).
delete file [...]
Delete the list of files on the server.
mkdir directory
Create a new directory directory on the server.
rmdir directory
Delete the directory directory on the server.
rename old-name new-name
Rename file old-name to new-name on the server.
site args...
Send a host-specific command to the server. You will probably only need this if instructed by the server to use it.
quote args...
Send the raw FTP command sequence to the server. You should be familiar with the FTP command set as defined in RFC959 before doing this. Useful commands may include STAT and HELP. Note also the mechanism for returning messages as described for the variable ZFTP_VERBOSE below, in particular that all messages from the control connection are sent to standard error.
Close the current data connection. This unsets the shell parameters ZFTP_HOST, ZFTP_IP, ZFTP_SYSTEM, ZFTP_USER, ZFTP_ACCOUNT and ZFTP_PWD.


The following shell parameters are used by zftp. Currently none of them are special.

Integer. The time in seconds to wait for a network operation to complete before returning an error. If this is not set when the module is loaded, it will be given the default value 60. A value of zero turns off timeouts. If a timeout occurs on the control connection it will be closed. Use a larger value if this occurs too frequently.
Readonly. The IP address of the current connection in dot notation.
Readonly. The hostname of the current remote server. If the host was opened as an IP number, ZFTP_HOST contains that instead; this saves the overhead for a name lookup, as IP numbers are most commonly used when a nameserver is unavailable.
Readonly. The system type string returned by the server in response to an FTP SYST request. The most interesting case is a string beginning "UNIX Type: L8", which ensures maximum compatibility with a local UNIX host.
Readonly. The type to be used for data transfers , either `A' or `I'. Use the type subcommand to change this.
Readonly. The username currently logged in, if any.
Readonly. The account name of the current user, if any. Most servers do not require an account name.
Readonly. The current directory on the server.
Readonly. The three digit code of the last FTP reply from the server as a string. This can still be read after the connection is closed.
Readonly. The last line of the last reply sent by the server. This can still be read after the connection is closed.
A string of preferences for altering aspects of zftp's behaviour. Each preference is a single character. The following are defined:

Passive: attempt to make the remote server initiate data transfers. This is slightly more efficient than sendport mode. If the letter S occurs later in the string, zftp will use sendport mode if passive mode is not available.
Sendport: initiate transfers by the FTP PORT command. If this occurs before any P in the string, passive mode will never be attempted.
Dumb: use only the bare minimum of FTP commands. This prevents the variables ZFTP_SYSTEM and ZFTP_PWD from being set, and will mean all connections default to ASCII type. It may prevent ZFTP_SIZE from being set during a transfer if the server does not send it anyway (many servers do).

If ZFTP_PREFS is not set when zftp is loaded, it will be set to a default of `PS', i.e. use passive mode if available, otherwise fall back to sendport mode.

A string of digits between 0 and 5 inclusive, specifying which responses from the server should be printed. All responses go to standard error. If any of the numbers 1 to 5 appear in the string, raw responses from the server with reply codes beginning with that digit will be printed to standard error. The first digit of the three digit reply code is defined by RFC959 to correspond to:

A positive preliminary reply.
A positive completion reply.
A positive intermediate reply.
A transient negative completion reply.
A permanent negative completion reply.

It should be noted that, for unknown reasons, the reply `Service not available', which forces termination of a connection, is classified as 421, i.e. `transient negative', an interesting interpretation of the word `transient'.

The code 0 is special: it indicates that all but the last line of multiline replies read from the server will be printed to standard error in a processed format. By convention, servers use this mechanism for sending information for the user to read. The appropriate reply code, if it matches the same response, takes priority.

If ZFTP_VERBOSE is not set when zftp is loaded, it will be set to the default value 450, i.e., messages destined for the user and all errors will be printed. A null string is valid and specifies that no messages should be printed.


If this function is set by the user, it is called every time the directory changes on the server, including when a user is logged in, or when a connection is closed. In the last case, $ZFTP_PWD will be unset; otherwise it will reflect the new directory.
If this function is set by the user, it will be called during a get, put or append operation each time sufficient data has been received from the host. During a get, the data is sent to standard output, so it is vital that this function should write to standard error or directly to the terminal, not to standard output.

When it is called with a transfer in progress, the following additional shell parameters are set:

The name of the remote file being transferred from or to.
A G for a get operation and a P for a put operation.
The total size of the complete file being transferred: the same as the first value provided by the remote and local subcommands for a particular file. If the server cannot supply this value for a remote file being retrieved, it will not be set. If input is from a pipe the value may be incorrect and correspond simply to a full pipe buffer.
The amount of data so far transferred; a number between zero and $ZFTP_SIZE, if that is set. This number is always available.

The function is initially called with ZFTP_TRANSFER set appropriately and ZFTP_COUNT set to zero. After the transfer is finished, the function will be called one more time with ZFTP_TRANSFER set to GF or PF, in case it wishes to tidy up. It is otherwise never called twice with the same value of ZFTP_COUNT.

Sometimes the progress meter may cause disruption. It is up to the user to decide whether the function should be defined and to use unfunction when necessary.


With the exception noted for the params subcommand, a connection may not be opened in the left hand side of a pipe as this occurs in a subshell and the file information is not updated in the main shell. In the case of type or mode changes or closing the connection in a subshell, the information is returned but variables are not updated until the next call to zftp. Other status changes in subshells will not be reflected by changes to the variables (but should be otherwise harmless).

On some operating systems, the control connection is not valid after a fork(), so that operations in subshells or on the left hand side of a pipeline are not possible.

The zle Module

The zle module contains the Zsh Line Editor. See section Zsh Line Editor. It also contains three related builtin commands:

bindkey [ options ] -l
bindkey [ options ] -d
bindkey [ options ] -D keymap ...
bindkey [ options ] -A old-keymap new-keymap
bindkey [ options ] -N new-keymap [ old-keymap ]
bindkey [ options ] -m
bindkey [ options ] -r in-string ...
bindkey [ options ] -s in-string out-string ...
bindkey [ options ] in-string command ...
bindkey [ options ] [ in-string ]
bindkey's options can be divided into three categories: keymap selection, operation selection, and others. The keymap selection options are:

Selects keymap `emacs', and also links it to `main'.
Selects keymap `viins', and also links it to `main'.
Selects keymap `vicmd'.
The first non-option argument is used as a keymap name, and does not otherwise count as an argument.

If a keymap selection is required and none of the options above are used, the `main' keymap is used. Some operations do not permit a keymap to be selected, namely:

List all existing keymap names. If the -L option is used, list in the form of bindkey commands to create the keymaps.
Delete all existing keymaps and reset to the default state.
-D keymap ...
Delete the named keymaps.
-A old-keymap new-keymap
Make the new-keymap name an alias for old-keymap, so that both names refer to the same keymap. The names have equal standing; if either is deleted, the other remains. If there is already a keymap with the new-keymap name, it is deleted.
-N new-keymap [ old-keymap ]
Create a new keymap, named new-keymap. If a keymap already has that name, it is deleted. If an old-keymap name is given, the new keymap is initialized to be a duplicate of it, otherwise the new keymap will be empty.

To use a newly created keymamp, it should be linked to main. Hence the sequence of commands to create and use a new keymap `mymap' initialized from the emacs keymap (which remains unchanged) is:

bindkey -N mymap emacs
bindkey -A mymap main

Note that while `bindkey -A newmap main' will work when newmap is emacs or viins, it will not work for vicmd, as switching from vi insert to command mode becomes impossible.

The following operations require a keymap to be selected:

Add the built-in set of meta-key bindings to the selected keymap. Only keys that are unbound or bound to self-insert are affected.
-r in-string ...
Unbind the specified in-strings in the selected keymap. This is exactly equivalent to binding the strings to undefined-key.
-s in-string out-string ...
Bind each in-string to each out-string. When in-string is typed, out-string will be pushed back and treated as input to the line editor.
in-string command ...
Bind each in-string to each command.
[ in-string ]
List key bindings. If an in-string is specified, the binding of that string in the selected keymap is displayed. Otherwise, all key bindings in the selected keymap are displayed. As an exception, if the -e or -v options are used alone, the keymap is not displayed - the implicit linking of keymaps is the only thing that happens.

In the binding operations, if the -R option is used, the in-strings are interpreted as ranges, instead of plain strings. A valid range consists of two characters, with an optional `-' between them. All characters between the two specified, inclusive, are bound as specified.

For either in-string or out-string, the following escape sequences are recognised:

bell character
\e, \E
form feed
linefeed (newline)
carriage return
horizontal tab
vertical tab
character code in octal
character code in hexadecimal
character with meta bit set
control character
control character

In all other cases, `\' escapes the following character. Delete is written as `^?'. Note that `\M^?' and `^\M?' are not the same, and that (unlike emacs), the bindings `\M-X' and `\eX' are entirely distinct, although they are initialized to the same bindings by `bindkey -m'.

vared [ -Aach ] [ -p prompt ] [ -r rprompt ] name
The value of the parameter name is loaded into the edit buffer, and the line editor is invoked. When the editor exits, name is set to the string value returned by the editor. When the -c flag is given, the parameter is created if it doesn't already exist. The -a flag may be given with -c to create an array parameter, or the -A flag to create an associative array. If the type of an existing parameter does not match the type to be created, the parameter is unset and recreated.

Individual elements of existing array or associative array parameters may be edited by using subscript syntax on name. New elements are created automatically, even without -c.

If the -p flag is given, the following string will be taken as the prompt to display at the left. If the -r flag is given, the following string gives the prompt to display at the right. If the -h flag is specified, the history can be accessed from ZLE.

zle -l [ -L ] [ -a ] [ string ... ]
zle -D widget ...
zle -A old-widget new-widget
zle -N widget [ function ]
zle -C widget completion-widget function
zle -R [ -c ] [ display-string ] [ string ... ]
zle -U string
zle widget [ -n num ] [ -N ] args ...
The zle builtin performs a number of different actions concerning ZLE. Which operation it performs depends on its options:

-l [ -L ]
List all existing user-defined widgets. If the -L option is used, list in the form of zle commands to create the widgets.

When combined with the -a option, all widget names are listed, including the builtin ones. In this case the -L option is ignored.

If at least one string is given, nothing will be printed but the return status will be zero if all strings are names of existing widgets (or of user-defined widgets if the -a flag is not given) and non-zero if at least one string is not a name of an defined widget.

-D widget ...
Delete the named widgets.
-A old-widget new-widget
Make the new-widget name an alias for old-widget, so that both names refer to the same widget. The names have equal standing; if either is deleted, the other remains. If there is already a widget with the new-widget name, it is deleted.
-N widget [ function ]
Create a user-defined widget. If there is already a widget with the specified name, it is overwritten. When the new widget is invoked from within the editor, the specified shell function is called. If no function name is specified, it defaults to the same name as the widget. For further information, see the section Widgets in section Zsh Line Editor. citem(completion widgets, creating)
-C widget completion-widget function
Create a user-defined completion widget named widget. The completion widget will behave like the built-in completion-widget whose name is given as completion-widget. To generate the completions, the shell function function will be called. For further information, see section Completion Widgets.
-R [ -c ] [ display-string ] [ string ... ]
Redisplay the command line; this is to be called from within a user-defined widget to allow changes to become visible. If a display-string is given and not empty, this is shown in the status line (immediately below the line being edited).

If the optional strings are given they are listed below the prompt in the same way as completion lists are printed. If no strings are given but the -c option is used such a list is cleared.

-U string
This puts the characters in the string in the input queue of ZLE. After the widget currently executed finishes ZLE will behave as if the characters in the string were typed by the user.
widget [ -n num ] [ -N ] args ...
Invoke the specified widget. This can only be done when ZLE is active; normally this will be within a user-defined widget.

With the options -n and -N, the current numerical argument will be saved and then restored after the call to widget; `-n num' sets the numerical argument temporarily to num, while `-N' sets it to the default, i.e. as if there were none.

Any further arguments will be passed to the widget. If it is a shell function, these are passed down as positional parameters; for builtin widgets it is up to the widget in question what it does with them. Currently arguments are only handled by the incremental-search commands, the history-search-forward and -backward and the corresponding functions prefixed by vi-, and by universal-argument. No error is flagged if the command does not use the arguments, or only uses some of them.

The return status reflects the success or failure of the operation carried out by the widget, or if it is a user-defined widget the return status of the shell function.

A non-zero return status causes the shell to beep when the widget exits, unless the BEEP options was unset or the widget was called via the zle command. Thus if a user defined widget requires an immediate beep, it should call the beep widget directly.

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