A shell account is access to the Internet through a Unix environment called a shell. A shell is a text-only terminal account which allows the user to enter commands at the prompt to use such tools as e-mail, remote login, and Gopher. Each Unix shell creates its own command prompt and has its own set of command variations for file and directory management and communication. However, where commands for Internet access are concerned, you normally do not need to be connected to the exact shell you are using. If you use a shell account for your Internet access, you connect to a host server which has the software programs you need to use Internet tools. Your computer becomes a terminal on that server in order to communicate with other Internet computers. Your connection to the Unix shell can come from a modem dial-up or a network link. These programs may be difficult to learn and awkward to use, and may require detailed instructions or training. However, millions of people use shell accounts. Relatively few Unix commands are involved, and shell access is fast because it is text-based. For more information on shell accounts, please contact your local Internet service provider.
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