cmdtool(1) run a shell (or other program) in an OpenWindows enhanced terminal window


cmdtool [ -C ] [ -M bytes ] [ -P count ] [ -B boldstyle ] [ -I command ]
generic-tool-arguments ] [ program [ program-arguments ] ]


This command is available with the OpenWindows user environment. For information about installing OpenWindows, refer to the Solaris installation documentation.


cmdtool is the standard OpenWindows support facility for shells and other programs. When invoked, cmdtool runs a program (usually a shell) in a text-based command window. Characters typed on the keyboard are inserted at the caret. If the program is a shell, that shell accepts and runs commands in the usual manner. cmdtool also supports programs that perform cursor motions directly, such as vi(1).

The text of the current command line can be edited using normal textedit(1) functions. The command window displays a log of the session, which can be scrolled through using the scrollbar (unless the escape command mode is in effect). This log can be edited, and saved by choosing the `Store as New File' item in the text facility's pop-up menu.


Console cmdtool. Redirect system console output to this cmdtool. Display console messages in this cmdtool, which might otherwise appear in unexpected places on the workstation screen. Since a cmdtool window can be scrolled, console error messages can be recorded for later examination.
-M bytes
Set the log to wrap-around after the indicated number of bytes.
-P count
Checkpoint the log after every set of count editing operations.
-B boldstyle
Set the style for displaying bold text to boldstyle. boldstyle can be a string specifying one of the choices for the term.boldstyle default, or it may be a numerical value for one of those choices, from 0 to 8, corresponding to the placement of the choice in the list.
-I command
Pass command to the shell. SPACE characters within the command must be escaped.
cmdtool accepts the generic tool arguments listed in xview(7).
program [ program-arguments ]
If a program argument is present, cmdtool runs it and passes any remaining arguments to that program. If no program is given, cmdtool runs the program indicated by the SHELL environment variable, or /bin/sh by default.


.Xdefaults File Options

You can specify a number of defaults using the options in the .Xdefaults file that effect the behavior of cmdtool. The ones of interest are those that begin with text,term, or keyboard. See xview(7) for more detailed information.

cmdtool Windows

The window created by cmdtool is based on the text facility that is described in the textedit man page. The user is given a prompt at which to type commands and pop-up menus from which to select command options.

cmdtool windows support cursor motions, using an /etc/termcap entry called sun-cmd. Command windows automatically set the TERM environment variable to sun-cmd. So, if you rlogin(1) to a machine that does not have an entry for sun-cmd in its /etc/termcap file, the error message `Type sun-cmd unknown' results. To rectify this, type the comman `set TERM=sun-cmd'. Programs written using the curses(3X) library packages will work in a command window, but programs hard-coded for sun-type terminals may not. When supporting a program that performs cursor motions, the command window automatically takes on the characteristics of a tty window (as with shelltool(1)). When that program terminates or sleeps, the full command window functionality is restored.

cmdtool supports programs that use CBREAK and NO ECHO terminal modes. This support is normally invisible to the user. However, programs that use RAW mode, such as rlogin(1) and script(1), inhibit command-line editing with the mouse. In this case, however, tty-style ERASE, word-kill and line-kill characters can still be used to edit the current command line.

The cmdtool Menu

The cmdtool window menu is called the Term Pane menu and contains the following options and their submenus:

History Creates a a list of commands used during the cmdtool session.
You can edit the contents of the window.
Read Only
You can only read from the window.
Store Log as new file
Create a new file that contains the contents of the log.
Clear log
Clears all entries from the log.
Provides a set of editing functions for this window.
Repeats the last action.
Undo Last Edit
Undoes the last edit made in cmdtool .
Undo All Edits
Undoes all edits made during this session of cmdtool .
Makes a copy of the selected text and places it on the clipboard.
Pastes a copy of the text stored on the clipboard at the cursor location.
Deletes the selected text.

Provides a set of find and replace functions.
Find and Replace
Brings up a pop-up menu containing text fields and command buttons that allow you to search forward and backward through the file being edited for specific text strings. Allows you to specify options for the replacement of text.
Find Selection
Searches forward to find a selected text string.
Searches backward to find a selected text string.
Find Marked Text
Brings up a pop-up menu that allows you to find text that is included between specified bracket pairs. Also allows you to insert or remove bracket pairs around selected text.
Replace |>field<| >
Allows you to replace selected text forward and backward throughout the file.
A user-definable pull-right menu controlled by the /usr/lib/.text_extras_menu file. This can be overridden in two ways:
1) Change the value of the .Xdefaults parameter text.extrasMenuFilename to the correct file path.
2) Set the environment variable EXTRASMENU to the file desired.
Note that option 1 overrides option 2 if both are used. For more information see the OpenWindows user documentation.
File Editor
Allows you to edit files from within cmdtool.
Turns off the ability to edit files from within cmdtool.
Enables Scrolling
Enables scrolling within cmdtool.
Disable Scrolling
Turns off the ability to scroll within cmdtool. Once scrolling in cmdtool is disabled, its functionality is identical to shelltool and a more restricted menu appears. Selecting the Enable Scrolling option from the restricted menu restores the full menu and functionality of cmdtool.

User Defined Keyboard Remapping

The file ~/.textswrc specifies filter programs that are assigned to (available) function keys. These filters are applied to the contents of the primary selection. Their output is entered at the caret.


Text facility accelerators that are especially useful in command windows are described here. See textedit(1) for more information.

Position the caret at the bottom, and scroll it into view as determined by Text.LowerContext.
Toggle between all-upper-case keyboard input, and mixed-case.


log file


Typing ahead while cmdtool changes between its scrollable and cursor motion modes will sometimes freeze cmdtool.

Full terminal emulation is not complete. Some manifestations of this deficiency are:

  • File completion in the C shell does not work.
  • Enhanced display of text is not supported.