tcsh as NS33's default shell? SteveB packages dearly yearned

Started by Torsten, June 29, 2017, 08:31:04 pm

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while NeXTStep had been my very first Unix in 1992, I haven't run it for
a considerable time. After having dumped old SCSI disk to files, their
code runs again, from .vmdk image files in VirtualBox :-) (Alas, in
640x480 px resolution only - due to problems with the EIDE driver,
NeXTStep/ i386 won't start in QEMU 2.x which would permit to use the
Cirrus Logic Graphics driver. Surprisingly, QEMU is reported to run
NeXTStep properly when started from it's "Q" frontend for Mac OS X).

Besides the Y2K-patch (24 hour time display on's icon is
still impossible ...), I have installed tcsh's 1996-11-03 version 6.06
(from ).
I would like to make it the default shell, but adding /usr/local/bin/tcsh*
to both /profile/etc/passwd and /profile/etc/shells doesn't do the job,
and I did not find any text file which sets the "TERM" variable (used by
/.profile's tset line). FreeBSD's chsh(1) command doesn't exist, neither.

Furthermore, I would like's login script to execute "su" and
"cd /". The Terminal is set up to be run on system startup, instead of the
Workspace Manager. While power off or reboots can be executed from the shell
(via "shutdown -h now" or "shutdown -r now"), I still look for a graceful
way to log off, instead of killing /usr/lib/NextStep/Workspace's first
instance. Can the Workspace Manager's "The floppy disk is unreadable.
Formatting?" dialog (and the subsequent one) be suppressed somehow?

NeXTStep's shell programs have a small command set, compared to their GNU
counterparts. Sufficient in several cases, but I miss a touch command which
permits to set file's stamps to a given time/ date (as "touch -t"). And a
/dev/zero replacement, i.e. a tool which removes slack by writing a zero
byte file to remaining disk space, for better compressibility of it's image.

Steve Blackford used to offer a pile of packaged binaries at , but he had to shut his server down, and Brian Moore's
mirror site does not exist anymore, neither.
Steve's packages were reported to handle settings upon installation. They
are dearly yearned!
Finally, I have tried Gregor Hoffleit's Midnight Commander 3.5.8 1996-12-05
build, which is almost useless because of missing function keys (replacing
/private/etc/termcap with a newer version doesn't fix them).

Greetings from Basle,

[This message has been created on Sun, June 11, 2017 02:11am.]


I have a 1.3G torrent that I created shortly before he shut down his server that I could put back up and seed if that would work.

The magnet link for it is below, and let me know if you want me to start seeding it again.


That public tracker seems to be down so I removed it from the magnet link.  It will now run as a "trackerless" torrent, which means it could take a while to find in the DHT if I seed it.


I put the tcsh package up on Dropbox...

I have the rest of his repo too, but not on Dropbox.  Let me know after you download it, so that I can delete it.
My NeXTs:
NeXT Computer prototype (68030-25 x2, 68040-25)
Two NeXTstations (68040-25)
All mono


Hi Eagle,

the Dropbox URL isn't supported by my favourite Links browser which I
use on most platforms ... Dropbox only allows downloads if it can set
a cookie on the requesting machine. I could load your package with the
much slower and less efficient Firefox browser from another system,
anyway - you can safely delete it.

I am not clear whether installing the tcsh-6.13.00 package will truely
set tcsh as the default shell. This merely seems to be a configuration
issue and was thus my major question (haven't installed tcsh-6.13.00 yet).
As said before, /usr/local/bin/tcsh is already mentioned in /etc/shells,
but this didn't make it the default shell.

Good to know that Steve Blackford's repository has been saved in several
places. My limited 64 kbps bandwith cannot handle 1.3 gigabyte tarballs,
however ...

Regards, Torsten


The torrent has the files in folders separately, so it is possible to grab individual files if your torrent client allows selective download.

I created the torrent from my local mirror of his site, and did not tar it up first.


Thank you, Chef,

there is a port of the CTorrent client for my main platform, but
I have no idea how to pass magnet URIs to it.

Nice to see that the protocol permits to retrieve individual files.
I'd prefer more traditional ones like FTP or HTTP, however, for
pointing and shooting a particular file.

If there only was a current mirror site of Steve Blackford's archive ...
The best place would probably be here, on, but there
may be reasons why Rob Blessin won't provide it. Just not considered?

As to my primary problem, how to change's default shell:
it's done, by customizing both configuration text files and Netinfo
database's settings. Setting a correct environment is crucial, e.g.
Nextstep's build-in /bin/zsh forgets the /etc:usr/etc: search path
when launched as root. If I had known about zsh's existence in 1994,
this would have saved me a lot of typing ... Actually, I ended up
with bash 2.0 (from a Peanuts download :-), which saves the command
history among sessions, and provides a more comfortable
auto-completion than tcsh 6.06 offers.

Best regards, Torsten