Bash Reference Manual

Table of Contents

Bash Features

This text is a brief description of the features that are present in the Bash shell (version 5.1, 21 December 2020). The Bash home page is

This is Edition 5.1, last updated 21 December 2020, of The GNU Bash Reference Manual, for Bash, Version 5.1.

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, noting which features were inspired by other shells and which are specific to Bash.

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".
Shell Builtin Commands Commands that are a part of the shell.
Shell Variables Variables used or set by Bash.
Bash Features Features found only in Bash.
Job Control What job control is and how Bash allows you to use it.
Command Line Editing Chapter describing the command line editing features.
Using History Interactively Command History Expansion
Installing Bash How to build and install Bash on your system.
Reporting Bugs How to report bugs in Bash.
Major Differences From The Bourne Shell A terse list of the differences between Bash and historical versions of /bin/sh.
GNU Free Documentation License Copying and sharing this documentation.
Indexes Various indexes for this manual.

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.