Dired Extra Version 2 User's Manual. Node: Shell Command Guessing

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Chapter 5: Shell Command Guessing

Based upon the name of a filename, Dired tries to guess what shell command you might want to apply to it. For example, if you have point on a file named `foo.tar' and you press !, Dired will guess you want to `tar xvf' it and suggest that as the default shell command.

The default will be mentioned in brackets and you can type M-p to get the default into the minibuffer so that you can edit it, e.g., changing `tar xvf' to `tar tvf'. If there are several commands for a given file, e.g., `xtex' and `dvips' for a `.dvi' file, you can type M-p several times to see each of the matching commands.

Dired only tries to guess a command for a single file, never for a list of marked files.


Predefined rules for shell commands. Set this to nil to turn guessing off. The elements of dired-guess-shell-alist-user (defined by the user) will override these rules.


If non-nil, a user-defined alist of file regexps and their suggested commands. These rules take precedence over the predefined rules in the variable dired-guess-shell-alist-default (to which they are prepended) when dired-do-shell-command is run).

Each element of the alist looks like

(regexp command...)

where each command can either be a string or a lisp expression that evaluates to a string. If several COMMANDs are given, all will temporarily be pushed on the history.

You can set this variable in your `~/.emacs'. For example, to add rules for `.foo' and `.bar' file extensions, write

(setq dired-guess-shell-alist-user
       (list "\\.foo$" "foo-command");; fixed rule
       ;; possibly more rules...
       (list "\\.bar$";; rule with condition test
              '(if condition

This will override any predefined rules for the same extensions.


Default: nil

If non-nil, name of the GNU tar executable (e.g., `"tar"' or `"gnutar"'). GNU tar's `z' switch is used for compressed tar files. If you don't have GNU tar, set this to nil: a pipe using `zcat' is then used.


Default: t

A non-nil value means that -q is passed to gzip overriding a verbose GNU zip's `GZIP' environment variable.

dired-guess-shell-znew-switches nil

Default: nil

A string of switches passed to GNU zip's `znew'. An example is `"-K"' which will make `znew' keep a .Z file when it is smaller than the .gz file.

dired-shell-command-history nil

History list for commands that read dired-shell commands.

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