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Shells are the user's interface to the operating system. Most UNIX shells are text based although there are some graphical shells as well. X-Windows window managers also display a shell like behaviour in some cases, but are not really shells.

We have already seen the most important function of a shell: the starting of programs. Shells do provide other services as well.

Mark O. Stitson
Wed Sep 25 10:45:32 BST 1996