Bash Reference Manual. Node: What is Bash?

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1.1: What is Bash?

Bash is the shell, or command language interpreter, that will appear in the GNU operating system. The name is an acronym for the `Bourne-Again SHell', a pun on Steve 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 an sh-compatible shell that 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 will include a version of csh, Bash will be 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, and Windows NT.

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