Bash Reference Manual. Node: Optional Features

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9.8: Optional Features

The Bash configure has a number of `--enable-FEATURE' options, where FEATURE indicates an optional part of Bash. There are also several `--with-PACKAGE' options, where PACKAGE is something like `gnu-malloc' or `purify'. To turn off the default use of a package, use `--without-PACKAGE'. To configure Bash without a feature that is enabled by default, use `--disable-FEATURE'.

Here is a complete list of the `--enable-' and `--with-' options that the Bash configure recognizes.


Define if you are using the Andrew File System from Transarc.


Use the curses library instead of the termcap library. This should be supplied if your system has an inadequate or incomplete termcap database.


Use the GNU libc version of malloc in `lib/malloc/gmalloc.c'. This is not the version of malloc that appears in glibc version 2, but a modified version of the malloc from glibc version 1. This is somewhat slower than the default malloc, but wastes less space on a per-allocation basis, and will return memory to the operating system under some circumstances.


Use the GNU version of malloc in `lib/malloc/malloc.c'. This is not the same malloc that appears in GNU libc, but an older version derived from the 4.2 BSD malloc. This malloc is very fast, but wastes some space on each allocation. This option is enabled by default. The `NOTES' file contains a list of systems for which this should be turned off, and configure disables this option automatically for a number of systems.


Define this to make bash link with a locally-installed version of Readline rather than the version in lib/readline. This works only with readline 4.0 and later versions.


Define this to use the Purify memory allocation checker from Pure Software.


This produces a shell with minimal features, close to the historical Bourne shell.

There are several `--enable-' options that alter how Bash is compiled and linked, rather than changing run-time features.


This builds a Bash binary that produces profiling information to be processed by gprof each time it is executed.


This causes Bash to be linked statically, if gcc is being used. This could be used to build a version to use as root's shell.

The `minimal-config' option can be used to disable all of the following options, but it is processed first, so individual options may be enabled using `enable-FEATURE'.

All of the following options except for `disabled-builtins' and `usg-echo-default' are enabled by default, unless the operating system does not provide the necessary support.


Allow alias expansion and include the alias and unalias builtins (see Aliases).


Include support for one-dimensional array shell variables (see Arrays).


Include support for csh-like history substitution (see History Interaction).


Include csh-like brace expansion ( b{a,b}c ==> bac bbc ). See Brace Expansion, for a complete description.


Include support for recognizing time as a reserved word and for displaying timing statistics for the pipeline following time. This allows pipelines as well as shell builtins and functions to be timed.


Include support for the [[ conditional command (see Conditional Constructs).


Include support for a csh-like directory stack and the pushd, popd, and dirs builtins (see The Directory Stack).


Allow builtin commands to be invoked via `builtin xxx' even after xxx has been disabled using `enable -n xxx'. See Bash Builtins, for details of the builtin and enable builtin commands.


Include support for the ((...)) command (see Conditional Constructs).


Include support for the extended pattern matching features described above under Pattern Matching.


Include the help builtin, which displays help on shell builtins and variables.


Include command history and the fc and history builtin commands.


This enables the job control features (see Job Control), if the operating system supports them.


This enables process substitution (see Process Substitution) if the operating system provides the necessary support.


Turn on the interpretation of a number of backslash-escaped characters in the $PS1, $PS2, $PS3, and $PS4 prompt strings. See Printing a Prompt, for a complete list of prompt string escape sequences.


Include support for command-line editing and history with the Bash version of the Readline library (see Command Line Editing).


Include support for a restricted shell. If this is enabled, Bash, when called as rbash, enters a restricted mode. See The Restricted Shell, for a description of restricted mode.


Include the select builtin, which allows the generation of simple menus (see Conditional Constructs).


Make the echo builtin expand backslash-escaped characters by default, without requiring the `-e' option. This makes the Bash echo behave more like the System V version.

The file `' contains C Preprocessor `#define' statements for options which are not settable from configure. Some of these are not meant to be changed; beware of the consequences if you do. Read the comments associated with each definition for more information about its effect.

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