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

This is Edition 2.3, last updated 20 January 1999, of The GNU Bash Reference Manual, for Bash, Version 2.03.

Copyright (C) 1991, 1993, 1996 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

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.

  • Introduction An introduction to the shell.

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

  • Basic Shell Features The shell "building blocks".

  • Bourne Shell Features Features similar to those found in the Bourne shell.

  • Bash Features Features found only in Bash.

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

  • Using History Interactively Chapter dealing with history expansion rules.

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

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

  • Reporting Bugs How to report bugs in Bash.

  • Builtin Index Index of Bash builtin commands.

  • Reserved Word Index Index of Bash reserved words.

  • 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.
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