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Building a Simple Command-Line Shell

The provided code is a simple C program that functions as a basic command-line shell. It allows users to input commands, including piped sequences of commands. The program reads user commands, parses them, and executes them. It handles various aspects of command execution, including splitting commands, handling spaces and double-quoted strings, and managing input and output redirection for piped commands. The code structure is well-organized, with separate functions for different tasks, enhancing modularity and readability. Users can enter commands and, if desired, terminate the shell using the "exit" command. This code provides a fundamental understanding of building a command-line interface and handling command execution in C.

Simple C Command-Line Shell with Piped Command Execution

This C program provides a functional foundation for a simple command-line shell. It enables users to enter and execute piped commands while offering internal commands such as "exit" for program termination. Its modular structure with functions like next_part, split_string, and execute_command makes it a helpful starting point for students seeking help with their C assignment related to creating a basic shell. Additionally, the code includes error handling for scenarios such as missing closing double quotes and incorrect commands. The execute_piped_commands function effectively manages piped commands and pipes creation. In sum, this code serves as a valuable reference for those working on assignments related to building a command-line interpreter in C.

Block 1: Header Files and Constants

#include #include #include #include #include #define DEFAULT_PROMPT "> " #define BUFFER_LENGTH 187

This section includes the necessary header files and defines some constants:

  • DEFAULT_PROMPT: The default command prompt.
  • BUFFER_LENGTH: The maximum length for user input.

Block 2: next_part Function

char *next_part(char *string, char separator, char **next, int *error

This function is responsible for splitting a string using a specified separator.

It takes the following parameters:

  • string: The input string to be split.
  • separator: The character used as a separator.
  • next: A pointer to a char pointer; it will be updated to point to the position after the separator.
  • error: An integer pointer; if there's an error during the splitting process, it's set to 1.

The function handles spaces and double-quoted strings to avoid splitting within quotes.

Block 3: split_string Function

char **split_string(char *string, char separator, int *num_parts
  • This function splits a string into multiple parts using a separator.
  • It returns an array of pointers to the split parts and updates num_parts with the count of parts.

Block 4: execute_command Function

pid_t execute_command(char **args, int input_fd, int output_fd

Block 5: execute_piped_commands Function

void execute_piped_commands(char **commands, int num_commands
  • This function handles the execution of piped commands.
  • It takes an array of piped command strings and the number of commands.
  • If there's only one command, it's executed without using pipes. Otherwise, it sets up pipes and executes each command in a sequence.

Block 6: main Function

The main function is the entry point of the program.

  • It handles the main user interaction loop.
  • It allows users to enter commands, including piped commands, and executes them.
  • It uses the fgets function to read user input, handles the "exit" command for program termination, and executes piped commands using the functions defined above.


In conclusion, our platform, ProgrammingHomeworkHelp.com, offers invaluable support for students tackling C programming assignments. With our expert guidance, you can confidently approach building a fully functional command-line shell, incorporating essential features such as piped command execution and internal commands like 'exit.' Our modular C code foundation serves as an excellent starting point for your assignment, making the learning process more manageable. Whether you're seeking clarification on specific C programming concepts or need hands-on assistance with your project, our dedicated team of experts is here to help. We're committed to ensuring your success in C programming assignments and providing you with the resources you need to excel in your studies.