GNU Bash Reference Manual

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  • Author: Chet Ramey and Brian Fox
  • Format: online HTML
  • Price: free

Bash is the shell, or command language interpreter, for the GNU operating system. The name is an acronym for the ‘Bourne-Again SHell’, a pun on Stephen Bourne, the author of the direct ancestor of the current Unix shell /bin/sh, which appeared in the Seventh Edition Bell Labs Research version of Unix.
Bash is largely compatible with sh and incorporates useful features from the Korn shell ksh and the C shell csh. It is intended to be a conformant implementation of the IEEE POSIX Shell and Tools specification (IEEE Working Group 1003.2). It offers functional improvements over sh for both interactive and programming use.

While the GNU operating system provides other shells, including a version of csh, Bash is the default shell. Like other GNU software, Bash is quite portable. It currently runs on nearly every version of Unix and a few other operating systems – independently-supported ports exist for MS-DOS, OS/2, Windows 95/98, and Windows NT.

Chapters include:

  • Introduction
  • Definitions
  • Basic Shell Features
  • Shell Syntax
  • Shell Operation
  • Shell Commands
  • Shell Functions
  • Shell Parameters
  • Shell Expansions
  • Redirections
  • Executing Commands
  • Shell Builtin Commands
  • Shell Variables
  • Bash Features
  • Invoking Bash
  • Bash Startup Files
  • Interactive Shells
  • Bash Conditional Expressions
  • Shell Arithmetic
  • Aliases
  • Arrays
  • The Directory Stack
  • Controlling the Prompt
  • The Restricted Shell
  • Bash POSIX Mode
  • Job Control
  • Command Line Editing
  • Readline Interaction
  • Readline Init File
  • Bindable Readline Commands
  • Readline vi Mode
  • Programmable Completion
  • Using History Interactively
  • Installing Bash

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