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Bash Reference Manual

This text is a brief description of the features that are present in the Bash shell.

This is Edition 2.5a, last updated 13 November 2001, of The GNU Bash Reference Manual, for Bash, Version 2.05a.

Copyright (C) 1997, 1998 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Bash contains features that appear in other popular shells, and some features that only appear in Bash. Some of the shells that Bash has borrowed concepts from are the Bourne Shell (`sh'), the Korn Shell (`ksh'), and the C-shell (`csh' and its successor, `tcsh'). The following menu breaks the features up into categories based upon which one of these other shells inspired the feature.

This manual is meant as a brief introduction to features found in Bash. The Bash manual page should be used as the definitive reference on shell behavior.

1. Introduction  An introduction to the shell.

2. Definitions  Some definitions used in the rest of this manual.

3. Basic Shell Features  The shell "building blocks".

4. Shell Builtin Commands  Commands that are a part of the shell.

5. Shell Variables  Variables used or set by Bash.

6. Bash Features  Features found only in Bash.

7. Job Control  A chapter describing what job control is and how Bash allows you to use it.

9. Using History Interactively  Chapter dealing with history expansion rules.

8. Command Line Editing  Chapter describing the command line editing features.

10. Installing Bash  How to build and install Bash on your system.

A. Reporting Bugs  How to report bugs in Bash.

B. Major Differences From The Bourne Shell  A terse list of the differences between Bash and historical versions of /bin/sh.

Index of Shell Builtin Commands  Index of Bash builtin commands.

Index of Shell Reserved Words  Index of Bash reserved words.

Parameter and Variable Index  Quick reference helps you find the variable you want.

Function Index  Index of bindable Readline functions.

Concept Index  General index for concepts described in this manual.