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BASH(1)   2010 December 28

bash - GNU Bourne-Again SHell

NAME

bash - GNU Bourne-Again SHell

SYNOPSIS

bash

[options] [file]

DESCRIPTION

Bash

is an sh-compatible command language interpreter that executes commands read from the standard input or from a file.

Bash

also incorporates useful features from the Korn and C shells (ksh and csh).

Bash

is intended to be a conformant implementation of the Shell and Utilities portion of the IEEE POSIX specification (IEEE Standard 1003.1).

Bash

can be configured to be POSIX-conformant by default.

OPTIONS

All of the single-character shell options documented in the description of the set builtin command can be used as options when the shell is invoked. In addition, bash interprets the following options when it is invoked:

-c  string
If the

-c

option is present, then commands are read from

string.

If there are arguments after the

string,

they are assigned to the positional parameters, starting with

$0.

-i
If the

-i

option is present, the shell is

interactive.

-l
Make

bash

act as if it had been invoked as a login shell (see

.SM

INVOCATION

below).
-r
If the

-r

option is present, the shell becomes

restricted

(see

.SM

"RESTRICTED SHELL"

below).
-s
If the

-s

option is present, or if no arguments remain after option processing, then commands are read from the standard input. This option allows the positional parameters to be set when invoking an interactive shell.
-D
A list of all double-quoted strings preceded by $ is printed on the standard output. These are the strings that are subject to language translation when the current locale is not C or POSIX. This implies the -n option; no commands will be executed.
[-+]O [shopt_option]
shopt_option is one of the shell options accepted by the shopt builtin (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below). If shopt_option is present, -O sets the value of that option; +O unsets it. If shopt_option is not supplied, the names and values of the shell options accepted by shopt are printed on the standard output. If the invocation option is +O, the output is displayed in a format that may be reused as input.
--
A

--

signals the end of options and disables further option processing. Any arguments after the

--

are treated as filenames and arguments. An argument of

-

is equivalent to --.

Bash

also interprets a number of multi-character options. These options must appear on the command line before the single-character options to be recognized.

--debugger
Arrange for the debugger profile to be executed before the shell starts. Turns on extended debugging mode (see the description of the

extdebug

option to the

shopt

builtin below).
--dump-po-strings
Equivalent to -D, but the output is in the GNU gettext po (portable object) file format.
--dump-strings
Equivalent to -D.
--help
Display a usage message on standard output and exit successfully.
--init-file file
--rcfile file
Execute commands from

file

instead of the system wide initialization file

/etc/bash.bashrc

and the standard personal initialization file

~/.bashrc

if the shell is interactive (see

.SM

INVOCATION

below).
--login
Equivalent to -l.
--noediting
Do not use the GNU

readline

library to read command lines when the shell is interactive.
--noprofile
Do not read either the system-wide startup file

.FN /etc/profile

or any of the personal initialization files

~/.bash_profile,

~/.bash_login,

or

~/.profile.

By default,

bash

reads these files when it is invoked as a login shell (see

.SM

INVOCATION

below).
--norc
Do not read and execute the system wide initialization file

/etc/bash.bashrc

and the personal initialization file

~/.bashrc

if the shell is interactive. This option is on by default if the shell is invoked as

sh.

--posix
Change the behavior of bash where the default operation differs from the POSIX standard to match the standard (posix mode).
--restricted
The shell becomes restricted (see

.SM

"RESTRICTED SHELL"

below).
--verbose
Equivalent to -v.
--version
Show version information for this instance of

bash

on the standard output and exit successfully.

ARGUMENTS

If arguments remain after option processing, and neither the

-c

nor the

-s

option has been supplied, the first argument is assumed to be the name of a file containing shell commands. If

bash

is invoked in this fashion,

$0

is set to the name of the file, and the positional parameters are set to the remaining arguments.

Bash

reads and executes commands from this file, then exits. Bash's exit status is the exit status of the last command executed in the script. If no commands are executed, the exit status is 0. An attempt is first made to open the file in the current directory, and, if no file is found, then the shell searches the directories in

.SM

PATH

for the script.

INVOCATION

A login shell is one whose first character of argument zero is a

-,

or one started with the

--login

option.

An interactive shell is one started without non-option arguments and without the

-c

option whose standard input and error are both connected to terminals (as determined by

isatty(3)),

or one started with the

-i

option.

.SM

PS1

is set and

$-

includes

i

if

bash

is interactive, allowing a shell script or a startup file to test this state.

The following paragraphs describe how

bash

executes its startup files. If any of the files exist but cannot be read,

bash

reports an error. Tildes are expanded in file names as described below under

"Tilde Expansion"

in the

.SM

EXPANSION

section.

When

bash

is invoked as an interactive login shell, or as a non-interactive shell with the --login option, it first reads and executes commands from the file /etc/profile, if that file exists. After reading that file, it looks for ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_login, and ~/.profile, in that order, and reads and executes commands from the first one that exists and is readable. The

--noprofile

option may be used when the shell is started to inhibit this behavior.

When a login shell exits,

bash

reads and executes commands from the file ~/.bash_logout, if it exists.

When an interactive shell that is not a login shell is started,

bash

reads and executes commands from /etc/bash.bashrc and ~/.bashrc, if these files exist. This may be inhibited by using the

--norc

option. The --rcfile file option will force

bash

to read and execute commands from file instead of /etc/bash.bashrc and ~/.bashrc.

When

bash

is started non-interactively, to run a shell script, for example, it looks for the variable

.SM

BASH_ENV

in the environment, expands its value if it appears there, and uses the expanded value as the name of a file to read and execute.

Bash

behaves as if the following command were executed:

.sp .5

if [ -n "$BASH_ENV" ]; then . "$BASH_ENV"; fi

.sp .5

but the value of the

.SM

PATH

variable is not used to search for the file name.

If

bash

is invoked with the name

sh,

it tries to mimic the startup behavior of historical versions of

sh

as closely as possible, while conforming to the POSIX standard as well. When invoked as an interactive login shell, or a non-interactive shell with the --login option, it first attempts to read and execute commands from

/etc/profile

and

~/.profile,

in that order. The

--noprofile

option may be used to inhibit this behavior. When invoked as an interactive shell with the name

sh,

bash

looks for the variable

.SM

ENV,

expands its value if it is defined, and uses the expanded value as the name of a file to read and execute. Since a shell invoked as

sh

does not attempt to read and execute commands from any other startup files, the

--rcfile

option has no effect. A non-interactive shell invoked with the name

sh

does not attempt to read any other startup files. When invoked as

sh,

bash

enters

posix

mode after the startup files are read.

When

bash

is started in

posix

mode, as with the

--posix

command line option, it follows the POSIX standard for startup files. In this mode, interactive shells expand the

.SM

ENV

variable and commands are read and executed from the file whose name is the expanded value. No other startup files are read.

Bash

attempts to determine when it is being run with its standard input connected to a network connection, as when executed by the remote shell daemon, usually rshd, or the secure shell daemon sshd. If

bash

determines it is being run in this fashion, it reads and executes commands from ~/.bashrc and ~/.bashrc, if these files exist and are readable. It will not do this if invoked as sh. The

--norc

option may be used to inhibit this behavior, and the

--rcfile

option may be used to force another file to be read, but rshd does not generally invoke the shell with those options or allow them to be specified.

If the shell is started with the effective user (group) id not equal to the real user (group) id, and the -p option is not supplied, no startup files are read, shell functions are not inherited from the environment, the

.SM

SHELLOPTS,

.SM

BASHOPTS,

.SM

CDPATH,

and

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

variables, if they appear in the environment, are ignored, and the effective user id is set to the real user id. If the -p option is supplied at invocation, the startup behavior is the same, but the effective user id is not reset.

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions are used throughout the rest of this document.

blank
A space or tab.
word
A sequence of characters considered as a single unit by the shell. Also known as a

token.

name
A

word

consisting only of alphanumeric characters and underscores, and beginning with an alphabetic character or an underscore. Also referred to as an

identifier.

metacharacter
A character that, when unquoted, separates words. One of the following:

| & ; ( ) < > space tab

control operator
A token that performs a control function. It is one of the following symbols:

|| & && ; ;; ( ) | |&

RESERVED WORDS

Reserved words are words that have a special meaning to the shell. The following words are recognized as reserved when unquoted and either the first word of a simple command (see

.SM

SHELL GRAMMAR

below) or the third word of a

case

or

for

command:

.B

! case do done elif else esac fi for function if in select then until while { } time [[ ]]

SHELL GRAMMAR

Simple Commands

A simple command is a sequence of optional variable assignments followed by blank-separated words and redirections, and terminated by a control operator. The first word specifies the command to be executed, and is passed as argument zero. The remaining words are passed as arguments to the invoked command.

The return value of a simple command is its exit status, or 128+n if the command is terminated by signal

n.

Pipelines

A pipeline is a sequence of one or more commands separated by one of the control operators

|

or |&. The format for a pipeline is:

[time [-p]] [ ! ] command [ [|bv|&] command2 ... ]

The standard output of

command

is connected via a pipe to the standard input of

command2.

This connection is performed before any redirections specified by the command (see

.SM

REDIRECTION

below). If |& is used, the standard error of command is connected to command2's standard input through the pipe; it is shorthand for 2>&1 |. This implicit redirection of the standard error is performed after any redirections specified by the command.

The return status of a pipeline is the exit status of the last command, unless the pipefail option is enabled. If pipefail is enabled, the pipeline's return status is the value of the last (rightmost) command to exit with a non-zero status, or zero if all commands exit successfully. If the reserved word

!

precedes a pipeline, the exit status of that pipeline is the logical negation of the exit status as described above. The shell waits for all commands in the pipeline to terminate before returning a value.

If the

time

reserved word precedes a pipeline, the elapsed as well as user and system time consumed by its execution are reported when the pipeline terminates. The -p option changes the output format to that specified by POSIX. When the shell is in posix mode, it does not recognize time as a reserved word if the next token begins with a `-'. The

.SM

TIMEFORMAT

variable may be set to a format string that specifies how the timing information should be displayed; see the description of

.SM

TIMEFORMAT

under

"Shell Variables"

below.

When the shell is in posix mode, time may be followed by a newline. In this case, the shell displays the total user and system time consumed by the shell and its children. The

.SM

TIMEFORMAT

variable may be used to specify the format of the time information.

Each command in a pipeline is executed as a separate process (i.e., in a subshell).

Lists

A list is a sequence of one or more pipelines separated by one of the operators

;,

&,

&&,

or

||,

and optionally terminated by one of

;,

&,

or

<newline>.

Of these list operators,

&&

and

||

have equal precedence, followed by

;

and

&,

which have equal precedence.

A sequence of one or more newlines may appear in a list instead of a semicolon to delimit commands.

If a command is terminated by the control operator

&,

the shell executes the command in the background in a subshell. The shell does not wait for the command to finish, and the return status is 0. Commands separated by a

;

are executed sequentially; the shell waits for each command to terminate in turn. The return status is the exit status of the last command executed.

AND and OR lists are sequences of one of more pipelines separated by the && and || control operators, respectively. AND and OR lists are executed with left associativity. An AND list has the form

command1 && command2

command2

is executed if, and only if,

command1

returns an exit status of zero.

An OR list has the form

command1 || command2

command2

is executed if and only if

command1

returns a non-zero exit status. The return status of AND and OR lists is the exit status of the last command executed in the list.

Compound Commands

A compound command is one of the following:

(list)
list is executed in a subshell environment (see

.SM

COMMAND EXECUTION ENVIRONMENT below). Variable assignments and builtin commands that affect the shell's environment do not remain in effect after the command completes. The return status is the exit status of list.
{ list; }
list is simply executed in the current shell environment. list must be terminated with a newline or semicolon. This is known as a group command. The return status is the exit status of list. Note that unlike the metacharacters ( and ), { and } are reserved words and must occur where a reserved word is permitted to be recognized. Since they do not cause a word break, they must be separated from list by whitespace or another shell metacharacter.
((expression))
The expression is evaluated according to the rules described below under

.SM

ARITHMETIC EVALUATION .

If the value of the expression is non-zero, the return status is 0; otherwise the return status is 1. This is exactly equivalent to let "expression".
[[ expression ]]
Return a status of 0 or 1 depending on the evaluation of the conditional expression expression. Expressions are composed of the primaries described below under

.SM

CONDITIONAL EXPRESSIONS .

Word splitting and pathname expansion are not performed on the words between the [[ and ]]; tilde expansion, parameter and variable expansion, arithmetic expansion, command substitution, process substitution, and quote removal are performed. Conditional operators such as -f must be unquoted to be recognized as primaries. .sp 1 When used with [[, the < and > operators sort lexicographically using the current locale.

See the description of the test builtin command (section SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS below) for the handling of parameters (i.e. missing parameters). .sp 1 When the == and != operators are used, the string to the right of the operator is considered a pattern and matched according to the rules described below under Pattern Matching. If the shell option

nocasematch

is enabled, the match is performed without regard to the case of alphabetic characters. The return value is 0 if the string matches (==) or does not match (!=) the pattern, and 1 otherwise. Any part of the pattern may be quoted to force it to be matched as a string. .sp 1 An additional binary operator, =~, is available, with the same precedence as == and !=. When it is used, the string to the right of the operator is considered an extended regular expression and matched accordingly (as in regex(3)). The return value is 0 if the string matches the pattern, and 1 otherwise. If the regular expression is syntactically incorrect, the conditional expression's return value is 2. If the shell option

nocasematch

is enabled, the match is performed without regard to the case of alphabetic characters. Any part of the pattern may be quoted to force it to be matched as a string. Substrings matched by parenthesized subexpressions within the regular expression are saved in the array variable

.SM

BASH_REMATCH.

The element of

.SM

BASH_REMATCH

with index 0 is the portion of the string matching the entire regular expression. The element of

.SM

BASH_REMATCH

with index n is the portion of the string matching the nth parenthesized subexpression. .sp 1 Expressions may be combined using the following operators, listed in decreasing order of precedence: .sp 1

( expression )
Returns the value of expression. This may be used to override the normal precedence of operators.
! expression
True if

expression

is false.
expression1 && expression2
True if both

expression1

and

expression2

are true.
expression1 || expression2
True if either

expression1

or

expression2

is true.

The && and || operators do not evaluate expression2 if the value of expression1 is sufficient to determine the return value of the entire conditional expression.

for name [ [ in [ word ... ] ] ; ] do list ; done
The list of words following in is expanded, generating a list of items. The variable name is set to each element of this list in turn, and list is executed each time. If the in word is omitted, the for command executes list once for each positional parameter that is set (see

.SM

PARAMETERS

below). The return status is the exit status of the last command that executes. If the expansion of the items following in results in an empty list, no commands are executed, and the return status is 0.
for (( expr1 ; expr2 ; expr3 )) ; do list ; done
First, the arithmetic expression expr1 is evaluated according to the rules described below under

.SM

ARITHMETIC EVALUATION .

The arithmetic expression expr2 is then evaluated repeatedly until it evaluates to zero. Each time expr2 evaluates to a non-zero value, list is executed and the arithmetic expression expr3 is evaluated. If any expression is omitted, it behaves as if it evaluates to 1. The return value is the exit status of the last command in list that is executed, or false if any of the expressions is invalid.
select name [ in word ] ; do list ; done
The list of words following in is expanded, generating a list of items. The set of expanded words is printed on the standard error, each preceded by a number. If the in word is omitted, the positional parameters are printed (see

.SM

PARAMETERS

below). The

.SM

PS3

prompt is then displayed and a line read from the standard input. If the line consists of a number corresponding to one of the displayed words, then the value of

name

is set to that word. If the line is empty, the words and prompt are displayed again. If EOF is read, the command completes. Any other value read causes

name

to be set to null. The line read is saved in the variable

.SM

REPLY.

The

list

is executed after each selection until a

break

command is executed. The exit status of

select

is the exit status of the last command executed in

list,

or zero if no commands were executed.
case word in [ [(] pattern [ | pattern ]

... ) \fIlist\fP ;; ] ... \fBesac\fP

A case command first expands word, and tries to match it against each pattern in turn, using the same matching rules as for pathname expansion (see

Pathname Expansion

below). The word is expanded using tilde expansion, parameter and variable expansion, arithmetic substitution, command substitution, process substitution and quote removal. Each pattern examined is expanded using tilde expansion, parameter and variable expansion, arithmetic substitution, command substitution, and process substitution. If the shell option

nocasematch

is enabled, the match is performed without regard to the case of alphabetic characters. When a match is found, the corresponding list is executed. If the ;; operator is used, no subsequent matches are attempted after the first pattern match. Using ;& in place of ;; causes execution to continue with the list associated with the next set of patterns. Using ;;& in place of ;; causes the shell to test the next pattern list in the statement, if any, and execute any associated list on a successful match. The exit status is zero if no pattern matches. Otherwise, it is the exit status of the last command executed in list.
if list; then list;
[ elif list; then list; ] ... [ else list; ] fi The

if

list

is executed. If its exit status is zero, the then list is executed. Otherwise, each elif list is executed in turn, and if its exit status is zero, the corresponding then list is executed and the command completes. Otherwise, the else list is executed, if present. The exit status is the exit status of the last command executed, or zero if no condition tested true.
while list-1; do list-2; done
until list-1; do list-2; done
The while command continuously executes the list list-2 as long as the last command in the list list-1 returns an exit status of zero. The until command is identical to the while command, except that the test is negated;

list-2

is executed as long as the last command in

list-1

returns a non-zero exit status. The exit status of the while and until commands is the exit status of the last command executed in list-2, or zero if none was executed.

Coprocesses

A coprocess is a shell command preceded by the coproc reserved word. A coprocess is executed asynchronously in a subshell, as if the command had been terminated with the & control operator, with a two-way pipe established between the executing shell and the coprocess.

The format for a coprocess is:

coproc [NAME] command [redirections]

This creates a coprocess named NAME. If NAME is not supplied, the default name is COPROC. NAME must not be supplied if command is a simple command (see above); otherwise, it is interpreted as the first word of the simple command. When the coproc is executed, the shell creates an array variable (see

Arrays

below) named NAME in the context of the executing shell. The standard output of

command

is connected via a pipe to a file descriptor in the executing shell, and that file descriptor is assigned to NAME[0]. The standard input of

command

is connected via a pipe to a file descriptor in the executing shell, and that file descriptor is assigned to NAME[1]. This pipe is established before any redirections specified by the command (see

.SM

REDIRECTION

below). The file descriptors can be utilized as arguments to shell commands and redirections using standard word expansions. The process ID of the shell spawned to execute the coprocess is available as the value of the variable NAME_PID. The wait builtin command may be used to wait for the coprocess to terminate.

The return status of a coprocess is the exit status of command.

Shell Function Definitions

A shell function is an object that is called like a simple command and executes a compound command with a new set of positional parameters. Shell functions are declared as follows:

name () compound-command [redirection]
function name [()] compound-command [redirection]
This defines a function named name. The reserved word function is optional. If the function reserved word is supplied, the parentheses are optional. The body of the function is the compound command

compound-command

(see Compound Commands above). That command is usually a list of commands between { and }, but may be any command listed under Compound Commands above. compound-command is executed whenever name is specified as the name of a simple command. Any redirections (see

.SM

REDIRECTION

below) specified when a function is defined are performed when the function is executed. The exit status of a function definition is zero unless a syntax error occurs or a readonly function with the same name already exists. When executed, the exit status of a function is the exit status of the last command executed in the body. (See

.SM

FUNCTIONS

below.)

COMMENTS

In a non-interactive shell, or an interactive shell in which the

interactive_comments

option to the

shopt

builtin is enabled (see

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below), a word beginning with

#

causes that word and all remaining characters on that line to be ignored. An interactive shell without the

interactive_comments

option enabled does not allow comments. The

interactive_comments

option is on by default in interactive shells.

QUOTING

Quoting is used to remove the special meaning of certain characters or words to the shell. Quoting can be used to disable special treatment for special characters, to prevent reserved words from being recognized as such, and to prevent parameter expansion.

Each of the metacharacters listed above under

.SM

DEFINITIONS

has special meaning to the shell and must be quoted if it is to represent itself.

When the command history expansion facilities are being used (see

.SM

HISTORY EXPANSION

below), the history expansion character, usually !, must be quoted to prevent history expansion.

There are three quoting mechanisms: the

escape character ,

single quotes, and double quotes.

A non-quoted backslash (e) is the

escape character .

It preserves the literal value of the next character that follows, with the exception of <newline>. If a e pair appears, and the backslash is not itself quoted, the e is treated as a line continuation (that is, it is removed from the input stream and effectively ignored).

Enclosing characters in single quotes preserves the literal value of each character within the quotes. A single quote may not occur between single quotes, even when preceded by a backslash.

Enclosing characters in double quotes preserves the literal value of all characters within the quotes, with the exception of

$,

`,

e,

and, when history expansion is enabled,

!.

The characters

$

and

`

retain their special meaning within double quotes. The backslash retains its special meaning only when followed by one of the following characters:

$,

`,

",

e,

or

<newline>.

A double quote may be quoted within double quotes by preceding it with a backslash. If enabled, history expansion will be performed unless an

!

appearing in double quotes is escaped using a backslash. The backslash preceding the

!

is not removed.

The special parameters

*

and

@

have special meaning when in double quotes (see

.SM

PARAMETERS

below).

Words of the form $aqstringaq are treated specially. The word expands to string, with backslash-escaped characters replaced as specified by the ANSI C standard. Backslash escape sequences, if present, are decoded as follows:

ea
alert (bell)
eb
backspace
ee
eE
an escape character
ef
form feed
en
new line
er
carriage return
et
horizontal tab
ev
vertical tab
ee
backslash
eaq
single quote
edq
double quote
ennn
the eight-bit character whose value is the octal value nnn (one to three digits)
exHH
the eight-bit character whose value is the hexadecimal value HH (one or two hex digits)
euHHHH
the Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) character whose value is the hexadecimal value HHHH (one to four hex digits)
eUHHHHHHHH
the Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) character whose value is the hexadecimal value HHHHHHHH (one to eight hex digits)
ecx
a control-x character

The expanded result is single-quoted, as if the dollar sign had not been present.

A double-quoted string preceded by a dollar sign ($dqstringdq) will cause the string to be translated according to the current locale. If the current locale is C or POSIX, the dollar sign is ignored. If the string is translated and replaced, the replacement is double-quoted.

PARAMETERS

A

parameter

is an entity that stores values. It can be a

name,

a number, or one of the special characters listed below under

Special Parameters .

A

variable

is a parameter denoted by a

name.

A variable has a value and zero or more attributes. Attributes are assigned using the

declare

builtin command (see

declare

below in

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS ).

A parameter is set if it has been assigned a value. The null string is a valid value. Once a variable is set, it may be unset only by using the

unset

builtin command (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below).

A

variable

may be assigned to by a statement of the form

name=[value]

If

value

is not given, the variable is assigned the null string. All

values

undergo tilde expansion, parameter and variable expansion, command substitution, arithmetic expansion, and quote removal (see

.SM

EXPANSION

below). If the variable has its

integer

attribute set, then

value

is evaluated as an arithmetic expression even if the $((...)) expansion is not used (see

"Arithmetic Expansion"

below). Word splitting is not performed, with the exception of "[email protected]" as explained below under

Special Parameters .

Pathname expansion is not performed. Assignment statements may also appear as arguments to the

alias,

declare,

typeset,

export,

readonly,

and

local

builtin commands.

In the context where an assignment statement is assigning a value to a shell variable or array index, the += operator can be used to append to or add to the variable's previous value. When += is applied to a variable for which the integer attribute has been set, value is evaluated as an arithmetic expression and added to the variable's current value, which is also evaluated. When += is applied to an array variable using compound assignment (see

Arrays

below), the variable's value is not unset (as it is when using =), and new values are appended to the array beginning at one greater than the array's maximum index (for indexed arrays) or added as additional key-value pairs in an associative array. When applied to a string-valued variable, value is expanded and appended to the variable's value.

Positional Parameters

A

positional parameter

is a parameter denoted by one or more digits, other than the single digit 0. Positional parameters are assigned from the shell's arguments when it is invoked, and may be reassigned using the

set

builtin command. Positional parameters may not be assigned to with assignment statements. The positional parameters are temporarily replaced when a shell function is executed (see

.SM

FUNCTIONS

below).

When a positional parameter consisting of more than a single digit is expanded, it must be enclosed in braces (see

.SM

EXPANSION

below).

Special Parameters

The shell treats several parameters specially. These parameters may only be referenced; assignment to them is not allowed.

*
Expands to the positional parameters, starting from one. When the expansion occurs within double quotes, it expands to a single word with the value of each parameter separated by the first character of the

.SM

IFS

special variable. That is, "$*" is equivalent to "$1c$2c...", where

c

is the first character of the value of the

.SM

IFS

variable. If

.SM

IFS

is unset, the parameters are separated by spaces. If

.SM

IFS

is null, the parameters are joined without intervening separators.
@
Expands to the positional parameters, starting from one. When the expansion occurs within double quotes, each parameter expands to a separate word. That is, "[email protected]" is equivalent to "$1" "$2" ... If the double-quoted expansion occurs within a word, the expansion of the first parameter is joined with the beginning part of the original word, and the expansion of the last parameter is joined with the last part of the original word. When there are no positional parameters, "[email protected]" and

[email protected]

expand to nothing (i.e., they are removed).
#
Expands to the number of positional parameters in decimal.
?
Expands to the exit status of the most recently executed foreground pipeline.
-
Expands to the current option flags as specified upon invocation, by the

set

builtin command, or those set by the shell itself (such as the

-i

option).
$
Expands to the process ID of the shell. In a () subshell, it expands to the process ID of the current shell, not the subshell.
!
Expands to the process ID of the most recently executed background (asynchronous) command.
0
Expands to the name of the shell or shell script. This is set at shell initialization. If

bash

is invoked with a file of commands,

$0

is set to the name of that file. If

bash

is started with the

-c

option, then

$0

is set to the first argument after the string to be executed, if one is present. Otherwise, it is set to the file name used to invoke

bash,

as given by argument zero.
_
At shell startup, set to the absolute pathname used to invoke the shell or shell script being executed as passed in the environment or argument list. Subsequently, expands to the last argument to the previous command, after expansion. Also set to the full pathname used to invoke each command executed and placed in the environment exported to that command. When checking mail, this parameter holds the name of the mail file currently being checked.

Shell Variables

The following variables are set by the shell:

BASH
Expands to the full file name used to invoke this instance of

bash.

BASHOPTS
A colon-separated list of enabled shell options. Each word in the list is a valid argument for the

-s

option to the

shopt

builtin command (see

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below). The options appearing in

.SM

BASHOPTS

are those reported as

on

by shopt. If this variable is in the environment when

bash

starts up, each shell option in the list will be enabled before reading any startup files. This variable is read-only.
BASHPID
Expands to the process ID of the current bash process. This differs from $$ under certain circumstances, such as subshells that do not require bash to be re-initialized.
BASH_ALIASES
An associative array variable whose members correspond to the internal list of aliases as maintained by the alias builtin. Elements added to this array appear in the alias list; unsetting array elements cause aliases to be removed from the alias list.
BASH_ARGC
An array variable whose values are the number of parameters in each frame of the current bash execution call stack. The number of parameters to the current subroutine (shell function or script executed with . or source) is at the top of the stack. When a subroutine is executed, the number of parameters passed is pushed onto

.SM

BASH_ARGC.

The shell sets

.SM

BASH_ARGC

only when in extended debugging mode (see the description of the

extdebug

option to the

shopt

builtin below)
BASH_ARGV
An array variable containing all of the parameters in the current bash execution call stack. The final parameter of the last subroutine call is at the top of the stack; the first parameter of the initial call is at the bottom. When a subroutine is executed, the parameters supplied are pushed onto

.SM

BASH_ARGV.

The shell sets

.SM

BASH_ARGV

only when in extended debugging mode (see the description of the

extdebug

option to the

shopt

builtin below)
BASH_CMDS
An associative array variable whose members correspond to the internal hash table of commands as maintained by the hash builtin. Elements added to this array appear in the hash table; unsetting array elements cause commands to be removed from the hash table.
BASH_COMMAND
The command currently being executed or about to be executed, unless the shell is executing a command as the result of a trap, in which case it is the command executing at the time of the trap.
BASH_EXECUTION_STRING
The command argument to the -c invocation option.
BASH_LINENO
An array variable whose members are the line numbers in source files where each corresponding member of

.SM

FUNCNAME

was invoked. ${BASH_LINENO[$i]} is the line number in the source file (${BASH_SOURCE[$i+1]}) where ${FUNCNAME[$i]} was called (or ${BASH_LINENO[$i-1]} if referenced within another shell function). Use

.SM

LINENO

to obtain the current line number.
BASH_REMATCH
An array variable whose members are assigned by the =~ binary operator to the [[ conditional command. The element with index 0 is the portion of the string matching the entire regular expression. The element with index n is the portion of the string matching the nth parenthesized subexpression. This variable is read-only.
BASH_SOURCE
An array variable whose members are the source filenames where the corresponding shell function names in the

.SM

FUNCNAME

array variable are defined. The shell function ${FUNCNAME[$i]} is defined in the file ${BASH_SOURCE[$i]} and called from ${BASH_SOURCE[$i+1]}.
BASH_SUBSHELL
Incremented by one each time a subshell or subshell environment is spawned. The initial value is 0.
BASH_VERSINFO
A readonly array variable whose members hold version information for this instance of

bash.

The values assigned to the array members are as follows:

.sp .5

BASH_VERSINFO[0]
The major version number (the release).
BASH_VERSINFO[1]
The minor version number (the version).
BASH_VERSINFO[2]
The patch level.
BASH_VERSINFO[3]
The build version.
BASH_VERSINFO[4]
The release status (e.g., beta1).
BASH_VERSINFO[5]
The value of

.SM

MACHTYPE.

BASH_VERSION
Expands to a string describing the version of this instance of

bash.

COMP_CWORD
An index into ${COMP_WORDS} of the word containing the current cursor position. This variable is available only in shell functions invoked by the programmable completion facilities (see Programmable Completion below).
COMP_KEY
The key (or final key of a key sequence) used to invoke the current completion function.
COMP_LINE
The current command line. This variable is available only in shell functions and external commands invoked by the programmable completion facilities (see Programmable Completion below).
COMP_POINT
The index of the current cursor position relative to the beginning of the current command. If the current cursor position is at the end of the current command, the value of this variable is equal to ${#COMP_LINE}. This variable is available only in shell functions and external commands invoked by the programmable completion facilities (see Programmable Completion below).
COMP_TYPE
Set to an integer value corresponding to the type of completion attempted that caused a completion function to be called: TAB, for normal completion, ?, for listing completions after successive tabs, !, for listing alternatives on partial word completion, @, to list completions if the word is not unmodified, or %, for menu completion. This variable is available only in shell functions and external commands invoked by the programmable completion facilities (see Programmable Completion below).
COMP_WORDBREAKS
The set of characters that the readline library treats as word separators when performing word completion. If

.SM

COMP_WORDBREAKS

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset.
COMP_WORDS
An array variable (see Arrays below) consisting of the individual words in the current command line. The line is split into words as readline would split it, using

.SM

COMP_WORDBREAKS

as described above. This variable is available only in shell functions invoked by the programmable completion facilities (see Programmable Completion below).
COPROC
An array variable (see Arrays below) created to hold the file descriptors for output from and input to an unnamed coprocess (see Coprocesses above).
DIRSTACK
An array variable (see

Arrays

below) containing the current contents of the directory stack. Directories appear in the stack in the order they are displayed by the

dirs

builtin. Assigning to members of this array variable may be used to modify directories already in the stack, but the

pushd

and

popd

builtins must be used to add and remove directories. Assignment to this variable will not change the current directory. If

.SM

DIRSTACK

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset.
EUID
Expands to the effective user ID of the current user, initialized at shell startup. This variable is readonly.
FUNCNAME
An array variable containing the names of all shell functions currently in the execution call stack. The element with index 0 is the name of any currently-executing shell function. The bottom-most element (the one with the highest index) is "main". This variable exists only when a shell function is executing. Assignments to

.SM

FUNCNAME

have no effect and return an error status. If

.SM

FUNCNAME

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset. .sp 1 This variable can be used with BASH_LINENO and BASH_SOURCE. Each element of FUNCNAME has corresponding elements in BASH_LINENO and BASH_SOURCE to describe the call stack. For instance, ${FUNCNAME[$i]} was called from the file ${BASH_SOURCE[$i+1]} at line number ${BASH_LINENO[$i]}. The caller builtin displays the current call stack using this information.
GROUPS
An array variable containing the list of groups of which the current user is a member. Assignments to

.SM

GROUPS

have no effect and return an error status. If

.SM

GROUPS

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset.
HISTCMD
The history number, or index in the history list, of the current command. If

.SM

HISTCMD

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset.
HOSTNAME
Automatically set to the name of the current host.
HOSTTYPE
Automatically set to a string that uniquely describes the type of machine on which

bash

is executing. The default is system-dependent.
LINENO
Each time this parameter is referenced, the shell substitutes a decimal number representing the current sequential line number (starting with 1) within a script or function. When not in a script or function, the value substituted is not guaranteed to be meaningful. If

.SM

LINENO

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset.
MACHTYPE
Automatically set to a string that fully describes the system type on which

bash

is executing, in the standard GNU cpu-company-system format. The default is system-dependent.
MAPFILE
An array variable (see Arrays below) created to hold the text read by the mapfile builtin when no variable name is supplied.
OLDPWD
The previous working directory as set by the

cd

command.
OPTARG
The value of the last option argument processed by the

getopts

builtin command (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below).
OPTIND
The index of the next argument to be processed by the

getopts

builtin command (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below).
OSTYPE
Automatically set to a string that describes the operating system on which

bash

is executing. The default is system-dependent.
PIPESTATUS
An array variable (see

Arrays

below) containing a list of exit status values from the processes in the most-recently-executed foreground pipeline (which may contain only a single command).
PPID
The process ID of the shell's parent. This variable is readonly.
PWD
The current working directory as set by the

cd

command.
RANDOM
Each time this parameter is referenced, a random integer between 0 and 32767 is generated. The sequence of random numbers may be initialized by assigning a value to

.SM

RANDOM.

If

.SM

RANDOM

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset.
READLINE_LINE
The contents of the

readline

line buffer, for use with "bind -x" (see

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below).
READLINE_POINT
The position of the insertion point in the

readline

line buffer, for use with "bind -x" (see

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below).
REPLY
Set to the line of input read by the

read

builtin command when no arguments are supplied.
SECONDS
Each time this parameter is referenced, the number of seconds since shell invocation is returned. If a value is assigned to

.SM

SECONDS,

the value returned upon subsequent references is the number of seconds since the assignment plus the value assigned. If

.SM

SECONDS

is unset, it loses its special properties, even if it is subsequently reset.
SHELLOPTS
A colon-separated list of enabled shell options. Each word in the list is a valid argument for the

-o

option to the

set

builtin command (see

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below). The options appearing in

.SM

SHELLOPTS

are those reported as

on

by set -o. If this variable is in the environment when

bash

starts up, each shell option in the list will be enabled before reading any startup files. This variable is read-only.
SHLVL
Incremented by one each time an instance of

bash

is started.
UID
Expands to the user ID of the current user, initialized at shell startup. This variable is readonly.

The following variables are used by the shell. In some cases,

bash

assigns a default value to a variable; these cases are noted below.

BASH_ENV
If this parameter is set when bash is executing a shell script, its value is interpreted as a filename containing commands to initialize the shell, as in

~/.bashrc.

The value of

.SM

BASH_ENV

is subjected to parameter expansion, command substitution, and arithmetic expansion before being interpreted as a file name.

.SM

PATH

is not used to search for the resultant file name.
BASH_XTRACEFD
If set to an integer corresponding to a valid file descriptor, bash will write the trace output generated when set -x is enabled to that file descriptor. The file descriptor is closed when

.SM

BASH_XTRACEFD

is unset or assigned a new value. Unsetting

.SM

BASH_XTRACEFD

or assigning it the empty string causes the trace output to be sent to the standard error. Note that setting

.SM

BASH_XTRACEFD

to 2 (the standard error file descriptor) and then unsetting it will result in the standard error being closed.
CDPATH
The search path for the

cd

command. This is a colon-separated list of directories in which the shell looks for destination directories specified by the

cd

command. A sample value is ".:~:/usr".
COLUMNS
Used by the select compound command to determine the terminal width when printing selection lists. Automatically set upon receipt of a

.SM

SIGWINCH.

COMPREPLY
An array variable from which bash reads the possible completions generated by a shell function invoked by the programmable completion facility (see Programmable Completion below).
EMACS
If bash finds this variable in the environment when the shell starts with value "t", it assumes that the shell is running in an Emacs shell buffer and disables line editing.
ENV
Similar to

.SM

BASH_ENV;

used when the shell is invoked in POSIX mode.
FCEDIT
The default editor for the

fc

builtin command.
FIGNORE
A colon-separated list of suffixes to ignore when performing filename completion (see

.SM

READLINE

below). A filename whose suffix matches one of the entries in

.SM

FIGNORE

is excluded from the list of matched filenames. A sample value is ".o:~" (Quoting is needed when assigning a value to this variable, which contains tildes).
FUNCNEST
If set to a numeric value greater than 0, defines a maximum function nesting level. Function invocations that exceed this nesting level will cause the current command to abort.
GLOBIGNORE
A colon-separated list of patterns defining the set of filenames to be ignored by pathname expansion. If a filename matched by a pathname expansion pattern also matches one of the patterns in

.SM

GLOBIGNORE,

it is removed from the list of matches.
HISTCONTROL
A colon-separated list of values controlling how commands are saved on the history list. If the list of values includes

ignorespace,

lines which begin with a

space

character are not saved in the history list. A value of

ignoredups

causes lines matching the previous history entry to not be saved. A value of

ignoreboth

is shorthand for ignorespace and ignoredups. A value of

erasedups

causes all previous lines matching the current line to be removed from the history list before that line is saved. Any value not in the above list is ignored. If

.SM

HISTCONTROL

is unset, or does not include a valid value, all lines read by the shell parser are saved on the history list, subject to the value of

.SM

HISTIGNORE.

The second and subsequent lines of a multi-line compound command are not tested, and are added to the history regardless of the value of

.SM

HISTCONTROL.

HISTFILE
The name of the file in which command history is saved (see

.SM

HISTORY

below). The default value is ~/.bash_history. If unset, the command history is not saved when an interactive shell exits.
HISTFILESIZE
The maximum number of lines contained in the history file. When this variable is assigned a value, the history file is truncated, if necessary, by removing the oldest entries, to contain no more than that number of lines. The default value is 500. The history file is also truncated to this size after writing it when an interactive shell exits.
HISTIGNORE
A colon-separated list of patterns used to decide which command lines should be saved on the history list. Each pattern is anchored at the beginning of the line and must match the complete line (no implicit `*' is appended). Each pattern is tested against the line after the checks specified by

.SM

HISTCONTROL

are applied. In addition to the normal shell pattern matching characters, `&' matches the previous history line. `&' may be escaped using a backslash; the backslash is removed before attempting a match. The second and subsequent lines of a multi-line compound command are not tested, and are added to the history regardless of the value of

.SM

HISTIGNORE.

HISTSIZE
The number of commands to remember in the command history (see

.SM

HISTORY

below). The default value is 500.
HISTTIMEFORMAT
If this variable is set and not null, its value is used as a format string for strftime(3) to print the time stamp associated with each history entry displayed by the history builtin. If this variable is set, time stamps are written to the history file so they may be preserved across shell sessions. This uses the history comment character to distinguish timestamps from other history lines.
HOME
The home directory of the current user; the default argument for the cd builtin command. The value of this variable is also used when performing tilde expansion.
HOSTFILE
Contains the name of a file in the same format as

.FN /etc/hosts

that should be read when the shell needs to complete a hostname. The list of possible hostname completions may be changed while the shell is running; the next time hostname completion is attempted after the value is changed,

bash

adds the contents of the new file to the existing list. If

.SM

HOSTFILE

is set, but has no value, or does not name a readable file, bash attempts to read

.FN /etc/hosts

to obtain the list of possible hostname completions. When

.SM

HOSTFILE

is unset, the hostname list is cleared.
IFS
The

Internal Field Separator

that is used for word splitting after expansion and to split lines into words with the

read

builtin command. The default value is ``<space><tab><newline>''.
IGNOREEOF
Controls the action of an interactive shell on receipt of an

.SM

EOF

character as the sole input. If set, the value is the number of consecutive

.SM

EOF

characters which must be typed as the first characters on an input line before

bash

exits. If the variable exists but does not have a numeric value, or has no value, the default value is 10. If it does not exist,

.SM

EOF

signifies the end of input to the shell.
INPUTRC
The filename for the

readline

startup file, overriding the default of

.FN ~/.inputrc

(see

.SM

READLINE

below).
LANG
Used to determine the locale category for any category not specifically selected with a variable starting with LC_.
LC_ALL
This variable overrides the value of

.SM

LANG

and any other LC_ variable specifying a locale category.
LC_COLLATE
This variable determines the collation order used when sorting the results of pathname expansion, and determines the behavior of range expressions, equivalence classes, and collating sequences within pathname expansion and pattern matching.
LC_CTYPE
This variable determines the interpretation of characters and the behavior of character classes within pathname expansion and pattern matching.
LC_MESSAGES
This variable determines the locale used to translate double-quoted strings preceded by a $.
LC_NUMERIC
This variable determines the locale category used for number formatting.
LINES
Used by the select compound command to determine the column length for printing selection lists. Automatically set upon receipt of a

.SM

SIGWINCH.

MAIL
If this parameter is set to a file or directory name and the

.SM

MAILPATH

variable is not set,

bash

informs the user of the arrival of mail in the specified file or Maildir-format directory.
MAILCHECK
Specifies how often (in seconds)

bash

checks for mail. The default is 60 seconds. When it is time to check for mail, the shell does so before displaying the primary prompt. If this variable is unset, or set to a value that is not a number greater than or equal to zero, the shell disables mail checking.
MAILPATH
A colon-separated list of file names to be checked for mail. The message to be printed when mail arrives in a particular file may be specified by separating the file name from the message with a `?'. When used in the text of the message, $_ expands to the name of the current mailfile. Example:

MAILPATH=aq/var/mail/bfox?"You have mail":~/shell-mail?"$_ has mail!"aq

Bash

supplies a default value for this variable, but the location of the user mail files that it uses is system dependent (e.g., /var/mail/$USER).

OPTERR
If set to the value 1,

bash

displays error messages generated by the

getopts

builtin command (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below).

.SM

OPTERR

is initialized to 1 each time the shell is invoked or a shell script is executed.
PATH
The search path for commands. It is a colon-separated list of directories in which the shell looks for commands (see

.SM

COMMAND EXECUTION

below). A zero-length (null) directory name in the value of

.SM

PATH

indicates the current directory. A null directory name may appear as two adjacent colons, or as an initial or trailing colon. The default path is system-dependent, and is set by the administrator who installs

bash.

A common value is ``/usr/gnu/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/ucb:/bin:/usr/bin''.
POSIXLY_CORRECT
If this variable is in the environment when bash starts, the shell enters posix mode before reading the startup files, as if the

--posix

invocation option had been supplied. If it is set while the shell is running, bash enables posix mode, as if the command set -o posix had been executed.
PROMPT_COMMAND
If set, the value is executed as a command prior to issuing each primary prompt.
PROMPT_DIRTRIM
If set to a number greater than zero, the value is used as the number of trailing directory components to retain when expanding the ew and eW prompt string escapes (see

.SM

PROMPTING

below). Characters removed are replaced with an ellipsis.
PS1
The value of this parameter is expanded (see

.SM

PROMPTING

below) and used as the primary prompt string. The default value is ``es-eve$ ''.
PS2
The value of this parameter is expanded as with

.SM

PS1

and used as the secondary prompt string. The default is ``> ''.
PS3
The value of this parameter is used as the prompt for the

select

command (see

.SM

SHELL GRAMMAR

above).
PS4
The value of this parameter is expanded as with

.SM

PS1

and the value is printed before each command

bash

displays during an execution trace. The first character of

.SM

PS4

is replicated multiple times, as necessary, to indicate multiple levels of indirection. The default is ``+ ''.
SHELL
The full pathname to the shell is kept in this environment variable. If it is not set when the shell starts,

bash

assigns to it the full pathname of the current user's login shell.
TIMEFORMAT
The value of this parameter is used as a format string specifying how the timing information for pipelines prefixed with the

time

reserved word should be displayed. The % character introduces an escape sequence that is expanded to a time value or other information. The escape sequences and their meanings are as follows; the braces denote optional portions.

.sp .5

%%
A literal %.
%[p][l]R
The elapsed time in seconds.
%[p][l]U
The number of CPU seconds spent in user mode.
%[p][l]S
The number of CPU seconds spent in system mode.
%P
The CPU percentage, computed as (%U + %S) / %R.
  • The optional p is a digit specifying the precision, the number of fractional digits after a decimal point. A value of 0 causes no decimal point or fraction to be output. At most three places after the decimal point may be specified; values of p greater than 3 are changed to 3. If p is not specified, the value 3 is used.
  • The optional l specifies a longer format, including minutes, of the form MMmSS.FFs. The value of p determines whether or not the fraction is included.
  • If this variable is not set, bash acts as if it had the value $aqenrealet%3lRenuseret%3lUensyst%3lSaq. If the value is null, no timing information is displayed. A trailing newline is added when the format string is displayed.
TMOUT
If set to a value greater than zero,

.SM

TMOUT

is treated as the default timeout for the read builtin. The select command terminates if input does not arrive after

.SM

TMOUT

seconds when input is coming from a terminal. In an interactive shell, the value is interpreted as the number of seconds to wait for input after issuing the primary prompt.

Bash

terminates after waiting for that number of seconds if input does not arrive.
TMPDIR
If set, bash uses its value as the name of a directory in which bash creates temporary files for the shell's use.
auto_resume
This variable controls how the shell interacts with the user and job control. If this variable is set, single word simple commands without redirections are treated as candidates for resumption of an existing stopped job. There is no ambiguity allowed; if there is more than one job beginning with the string typed, the job most recently accessed is selected. The

name

of a stopped job, in this context, is the command line used to start it. If set to the value

exact,

the string supplied must match the name of a stopped job exactly; if set to

substring,

the string supplied needs to match a substring of the name of a stopped job. The

substring

value provides functionality analogous to the

%?

job identifier (see

.SM

JOB CONTROL

below). If set to any other value, the supplied string must be a prefix of a stopped job's name; this provides functionality analogous to the %string job identifier.
histchars
The two or three characters which control history expansion and tokenization (see

.SM

HISTORY EXPANSION

below). The first character is the history expansion character, the character which signals the start of a history expansion, normally `!'. The second character is the quick substitution character, which is used as shorthand for re-running the previous command entered, substituting one string for another in the command. The default is `^'. The optional third character is the character which indicates that the remainder of the line is a comment when found as the first character of a word, normally `#'. The history comment character causes history substitution to be skipped for the remaining words on the line. It does not necessarily cause the shell parser to treat the rest of the line as a comment.

Arrays

Bash

provides one-dimensional indexed and associative array variables. Any variable may be used as an indexed array; the

declare

builtin will explicitly declare an array. There is no maximum limit on the size of an array, nor any requirement that members be indexed or assigned contiguously. Indexed arrays are referenced using integers (including arithmetic expressions) and are zero-based; associative arrays are referenced using arbitrary strings.

An indexed array is created automatically if any variable is assigned to using the syntax name[subscript]=value. The

subscript

is treated as an arithmetic expression that must evaluate to a number. If

subscript

evaluates to a number less than zero, it is used as an offset from one greater than the array's maximum index (so a subcript of -1 refers to the last element of the array). To explicitly declare an indexed array, use

declare -a name

(see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below).

declare -a name[subscript]

is also accepted; the subscript is ignored.

Associative arrays are created using

declare -A name .

Attributes may be specified for an array variable using the

declare

and

readonly

builtins. Each attribute applies to all members of an array.

Arrays are assigned to using compound assignments of the form name=(value1 ... valuen), where each value is of the form [subscript]=string. Indexed array assignments do not require the bracket and subscript. When assigning to indexed arrays, if the optional brackets and subscript are supplied, that index is assigned to; otherwise the index of the element assigned is the last index assigned to by the statement plus one. Indexing starts at zero.

When assigning to an associative array, the subscript is required.

This syntax is also accepted by the

declare

builtin. Individual array elements may be assigned to using the name[subscript]=value syntax introduced above.

Any element of an array may be referenced using ${name[subscript]}. The braces are required to avoid conflicts with pathname expansion. If subscript is @ or *, the word expands to all members of name. These subscripts differ only when the word appears within double quotes. If the word is double-quoted, ${name[*]} expands to a single word with the value of each array member separated by the first character of the

.SM

IFS

special variable, and ${name[@]} expands each element of name to a separate word. When there are no array members, ${name[@]} expands to nothing. If the double-quoted expansion occurs within a word, the expansion of the first parameter is joined with the beginning part of the original word, and the expansion of the last parameter is joined with the last part of the original word. This is analogous to the expansion of the special parameters * and @ (see

Special Parameters

above). ${#name[subscript]} expands to the length of ${name[subscript]}. If subscript is * or @, the expansion is the number of elements in the array. Referencing an array variable without a subscript is equivalent to referencing the array with a subscript of 0.

An array variable is considered set if a subscript has been assigned a value. The null string is a valid value.

The

unset

builtin is used to destroy arrays. unset name[subscript] destroys the array element at index subscript. Care must be taken to avoid unwanted side effects caused by pathname expansion. unset name, where name is an array, or unset name[subscript], where subscript is * or @, removes the entire array.

The

declare,

local,

and

readonly

builtins each accept a

-a

option to specify an indexed array and a

-A

option to specify an associative array. If both options are supplied,

-A

takes precedence. The

read

builtin accepts a

-a

option to assign a list of words read from the standard input to an array. The

set

and

declare

builtins display array values in a way that allows them to be reused as assignments.

EXPANSION

Expansion is performed on the command line after it has been split into words. There are seven kinds of expansion performed:

brace expansion ,

tilde expansion ,

parameter and variable expansion ,

command substitution ,

arithmetic expansion ,

word splitting ,

and

pathname expansion .

The order of expansions is: brace expansion, tilde expansion, parameter, variable and arithmetic expansion and command substitution (done in a left-to-right fashion), word splitting, and pathname expansion.

On systems that can support it, there is an additional expansion available: process substitution.

Only brace expansion, word splitting, and pathname expansion can change the number of words of the expansion; other expansions expand a single word to a single word. The only exceptions to this are the expansions of "[email protected]" and "${name[@]}" as explained above (see

.SM

PARAMETERS).

Brace Expansion

"Brace expansion"

is a mechanism by which arbitrary strings may be generated. This mechanism is similar to pathname expansion, but the filenames generated need not exist. Patterns to be brace expanded take the form of an optional

preamble,

followed by either a series of comma-separated strings or a sequence expression between a pair of braces, followed by an optional

postscript.

The preamble is prefixed to each string contained within the braces, and the postscript is then appended to each resulting string, expanding left to right.

Brace expansions may be nested. The results of each expanded string are not sorted; left to right order is preserved. For example, a{d,c,b}e expands into `ade ace abe'.

A sequence expression takes the form {x..y[..incr]}, where x and y are either integers or single characters, and incr, an optional increment, is an integer. When integers are supplied, the expression expands to each number between x and y, inclusive. Supplied integers may be prefixed with 0 to force each term to have the same width. When either x or y begins with a zero, the shell attempts to force all generated terms to contain the same number of digits, zero-padding where necessary. When characters are supplied, the expression expands to each character lexicographically between x and y, inclusive. Note that both x and y must be of the same type. When the increment is supplied, it is used as the difference between each term. The default increment is 1 or -1 as appropriate.

Brace expansion is performed before any other expansions, and any characters special to other expansions are preserved in the result. It is strictly textual.

Bash

does not apply any syntactic interpretation to the context of the expansion or the text between the braces.

A correctly-formed brace expansion must contain unquoted opening and closing braces, and at least one unquoted comma or a valid sequence expression. Any incorrectly formed brace expansion is left unchanged. A { or , may be quoted with a backslash to prevent its being considered part of a brace expression. To avoid conflicts with parameter expansion, the string ${ is not considered eligible for brace expansion.

This construct is typically used as shorthand when the common prefix of the strings to be generated is longer than in the above example:

mkdir /usr/local/src/bash/{old,new,dist,bugs}

or
chown root /usr/{ucb/{ex,edit},lib/{ex?.?*,how_ex}}

Brace expansion introduces a slight incompatibility with historical versions of

sh.

sh

does not treat opening or closing braces specially when they appear as part of a word, and preserves them in the output.

Bash

removes braces from words as a consequence of brace expansion. For example, a word entered to

sh

as file{1,2} appears identically in the output. The same word is output as

file1 file2

after expansion by

bash.

If strict compatibility with

sh

is desired, start

bash

with the

+B

option or disable brace expansion with the

+B

option to the

set

command (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below).

Tilde Expansion

If a word begins with an unquoted tilde character (`~'), all of the characters preceding the first unquoted slash (or all characters, if there is no unquoted slash) are considered a tilde-prefix. If none of the characters in the tilde-prefix are quoted, the characters in the tilde-prefix following the tilde are treated as a possible login name. If this login name is the null string, the tilde is replaced with the value of the shell parameter

.SM

HOME.

If

.SM

HOME

is unset, the home directory of the user executing the shell is substituted instead. Otherwise, the tilde-prefix is replaced with the home directory associated with the specified login name.

If the tilde-prefix is a `~+', the value of the shell variable

.SM

PWD

replaces the tilde-prefix. If the tilde-prefix is a `~-', the value of the shell variable

.SM

OLDPWD,

if it is set, is substituted. If the characters following the tilde in the tilde-prefix consist of a number N, optionally prefixed by a `+' or a `-', the tilde-prefix is replaced with the corresponding element from the directory stack, as it would be displayed by the

dirs

builtin invoked with the tilde-prefix as an argument. If the characters following the tilde in the tilde-prefix consist of a number without a leading `+' or `-', `+' is assumed.

If the login name is invalid, or the tilde expansion fails, the word is unchanged.

Each variable assignment is checked for unquoted tilde-prefixes immediately following a

:

or the first

=.

In these cases, tilde expansion is also performed. Consequently, one may use file names with tildes in assignments to

.SM

PATH,

.SM

MAILPATH,

and

.SM

CDPATH,

and the shell assigns the expanded value.

Parameter Expansion

The `$' character introduces parameter expansion, command substitution, or arithmetic expansion. The parameter name or symbol to be expanded may be enclosed in braces, which are optional but serve to protect the variable to be expanded from characters immediately following it which could be interpreted as part of the name.

When braces are used, the matching ending brace is the first `}' not escaped by a backslash or within a quoted string, and not within an embedded arithmetic expansion, command substitution, or parameter expansion.

${parameter}
The value of parameter is substituted. The braces are required when

parameter

is a positional parameter with more than one digit, or when

parameter

is followed by a character which is not to be interpreted as part of its name.

If the first character of parameter is an exclamation point (!), a level of variable indirection is introduced. Bash uses the value of the variable formed from the rest of parameter as the name of the variable; this variable is then expanded and that value is used in the rest of the substitution, rather than the value of parameter itself. This is known as indirect expansion. The exceptions to this are the expansions of ${!prefix*} and ${!name[@]} described below. The exclamation point must immediately follow the left brace in order to introduce indirection.

In each of the cases below, word is subject to tilde expansion, parameter expansion, command substitution, and arithmetic expansion.

When not performing substring expansion, using the forms documented below, bash tests for a parameter that is unset or null. Omitting the colon results in a test only for a parameter that is unset.

${parameter:-word}
Use Default Values. If

parameter

is unset or null, the expansion of

word

is substituted. Otherwise, the value of

parameter

is substituted.
${parameter:=word}
Assign Default Values. If

parameter

is unset or null, the expansion of

word

is assigned to

parameter.

The value of

parameter

is then substituted. Positional parameters and special parameters may not be assigned to in this way.
${parameter:?word}
Display Error if Null or Unset. If

parameter

is null or unset, the expansion of word (or a message to that effect if

word

is not present) is written to the standard error and the shell, if it is not interactive, exits. Otherwise, the value of parameter is substituted.
${parameter:+word}
Use Alternate Value. If

parameter

is null or unset, nothing is substituted, otherwise the expansion of

word

is substituted.
${parameter:offset}
${parameter:offset:length}
Substring Expansion. Expands to up to length characters of parameter starting at the character specified by offset. If length is omitted, expands to the substring of parameter starting at the character specified by offset. length and offset are arithmetic expressions (see

.SM

.B

ARITHMETIC EVALUATION below). If offset evaluates to a number less than zero, the value is used as an offset from the end of the value of parameter. Arithmetic expressions starting with a - must be separated by whitespace from the preceding : to be distinguished from the Use Default Values expansion. If length evaluates to a number less than zero, and parameter is not @ and not an indexed or associative array, it is interpreted as an offset from the end of the value of parameter rather than a number of characters, and the expansion is the characters between the two offsets. If parameter is @, the result is length positional parameters beginning at offset. If parameter is an indexed array name subscripted by @ or *, the result is the length members of the array beginning with ${parameter[offset]}. A negative offset is taken relative to one greater than the maximum index of the specified array. Substring expansion applied to an associative array produces undefined results. Note that a negative offset must be separated from the colon by at least one space to avoid being confused with the :- expansion. Substring indexing is zero-based unless the positional parameters are used, in which case the indexing starts at 1 by default. If offset is 0, and the positional parameters are used, $0 is prefixed to the list.
${!prefix*}
${!prefix@}
Names matching prefix. Expands to the names of variables whose names begin with prefix, separated by the first character of the

.SM

IFS

special variable. When @ is used and the expansion appears within double quotes, each variable name expands to a separate word.
${!name[@]}
${!name[*]}
List of array keys. If name is an array variable, expands to the list of array indices (keys) assigned in name. If name is not an array, expands to 0 if name is set and null otherwise. When @ is used and the expansion appears within double quotes, each key expands to a separate word.
${#parameter}
Parameter length. The length in characters of the value of parameter is substituted. If

parameter

is

*

or

@,

the value substituted is the number of positional parameters. If

parameter

is an array name subscripted by

*

or

@,

the value substituted is the number of elements in the array.
${parameter#word}
${parameter##word}
Remove matching prefix pattern. The

word

is expanded to produce a pattern just as in pathname expansion. If the pattern matches the beginning of the value of

parameter,

then the result of the expansion is the expanded value of

parameter

with the shortest matching pattern (the ``#'' case) or the longest matching pattern (the ``##'' case) deleted. If

parameter

is

@

or

*,

the pattern removal operation is applied to each positional parameter in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list. If

parameter

is an array variable subscripted with

@

or

*,

the pattern removal operation is applied to each member of the array in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list.
${parameter%word}
${parameter%%word}
Remove matching suffix pattern. The word is expanded to produce a pattern just as in pathname expansion. If the pattern matches a trailing portion of the expanded value of

parameter,

then the result of the expansion is the expanded value of

parameter

with the shortest matching pattern (the ``%'' case) or the longest matching pattern (the ``%%'' case) deleted. If

parameter

is

@

or

*,

the pattern removal operation is applied to each positional parameter in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list. If

parameter

is an array variable subscripted with

@

or

*,

the pattern removal operation is applied to each member of the array in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list.
${parameter/pattern/string}
Pattern substitution. The pattern is expanded to produce a pattern just as in pathname expansion. Parameter is expanded and the longest match of pattern against its value is replaced with string. If pattern begins with /, all matches of pattern are replaced with string. Normally only the first match is replaced. If pattern begins with #, it must match at the beginning of the expanded value of parameter. If pattern begins with %, it must match at the end of the expanded value of parameter. If string is null, matches of pattern are deleted and the / following pattern may be omitted. If

parameter

is

@

or

*,

the substitution operation is applied to each positional parameter in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list. If

parameter

is an array variable subscripted with

@

or

*,

the substitution operation is applied to each member of the array in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list.
${parameter^pattern}
${parameter^^pattern}
${parameter,pattern}
${parameter,,pattern}
Case modification. This expansion modifies the case of alphabetic characters in parameter. The pattern is expanded to produce a pattern just as in pathname expansion. The ^ operator converts lowercase letters matching pattern to uppercase; the , operator converts matching uppercase letters to lowercase. The ^^ and ,, expansions convert each matched character in the expanded value; the ^ and , expansions match and convert only the first character in the expanded value. If pattern is omitted, it is treated like a ?, which matches every character. If

parameter

is

@

or

*,

the case modification operation is applied to each positional parameter in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list. If

parameter

is an array variable subscripted with

@

or

*,

the case modification operation is applied to each member of the array in turn, and the expansion is the resultant list.

Command Substitution

Command substitution allows the output of a command to replace the command name. There are two forms:

$(command )

or
`command`

Bash

performs the expansion by executing command and replacing the command substitution with the standard output of the command, with any trailing newlines deleted. Embedded newlines are not deleted, but they may be removed during word splitting. The command substitution $(cat file) can be replaced by the equivalent but faster $(< file).

When the old-style backquote form of substitution is used, backslash retains its literal meaning except when followed by

$,

`,

or

e.

The first backquote not preceded by a backslash terminates the command substitution. When using the $(command ) form, all characters between the parentheses make up the command; none are treated specially.

Command substitutions may be nested. To nest when using the backquoted form, escape the inner backquotes with backslashes.

If the substitution appears within double quotes, word splitting and pathname expansion are not performed on the results.

Arithmetic Expansion

Arithmetic expansion allows the evaluation of an arithmetic expression and the substitution of the result. The format for arithmetic expansion is:

$((expression))

The old format $[expression] is deprecated and will be removed in upcoming versions of bash.

The

expression

is treated as if it were within double quotes, but a double quote inside the parentheses is not treated specially. All tokens in the expression undergo parameter expansion, string expansion, command substitution, and quote removal. Arithmetic expansions may be nested.

The evaluation is performed according to the rules listed below under

.SM

ARITHMETIC EVALUATION .

If

expression

is invalid,

bash

prints a message indicating failure and no substitution occurs.

Process Substitution

Process substitution is supported on systems that support named pipes (FIFOs) or the /dev/fd method of naming open files. It takes the form of <(list) or >(list). The process list is run with its input or output connected to a FIFO or some file in /dev/fd. The name of this file is passed as an argument to the current command as the result of the expansion. If the >(list) form is used, writing to the file will provide input for list. If the <(list) form is used, the file passed as an argument should be read to obtain the output of list.

When available, process substitution is performed simultaneously with parameter and variable expansion, command substitution, and arithmetic expansion.

Word Splitting

The shell scans the results of parameter expansion, command substitution, and arithmetic expansion that did not occur within double quotes for

word splitting .

The shell treats each character of

.SM

IFS

as a delimiter, and splits the results of the other expansions into words on these characters. If

.SM

IFS

is unset, or its value is exactly

<space><tab><newline>,

the default, then sequences of

<space>,

<tab>,

and

<newline>

at the beginning and end of the results of the previous expansions are ignored, and any sequence of

.SM

IFS

characters not at the beginning or end serves to delimit words. If

.SM

IFS

has a value other than the default, then sequences of the whitespace characters

space

and

tab

are ignored at the beginning and end of the word, as long as the whitespace character is in the value of

.SM

IFS

(an

.SM

IFS

whitespace character). Any character in

.SM

IFS

that is not

.SM

IFS

whitespace, along with any adjacent

.SM

IFS

whitespace characters, delimits a field. A sequence of

.SM

IFS

whitespace characters is also treated as a delimiter. If the value of

.SM

IFS

is null, no word splitting occurs.

Explicit null arguments ("" or aqaq) are retained. Unquoted implicit null arguments, resulting from the expansion of parameters that have no values, are removed. If a parameter with no value is expanded within double quotes, a null argument results and is retained.

Note that if no expansion occurs, no splitting is performed.

Pathname Expansion

After word splitting, unless the

-f

option has been set,

bash

scans each word for the characters

*,

?,

and

[.

If one of these characters appears, then the word is regarded as a

pattern,

and replaced with an alphabetically sorted list of file names matching the pattern. If no matching file names are found, and the shell option

nullglob

is not enabled, the word is left unchanged. If the

nullglob

option is set, and no matches are found, the word is removed. If the

failglob

shell option is set, and no matches are found, an error message is printed and the command is not executed. If the shell option

nocaseglob

is enabled, the match is performed without regard to the case of alphabetic characters. Note that when using range expressions like [a-z] (see below), letters of the other case may be included, depending on the setting of

LC_COLLATE.

When a pattern is used for pathname expansion, the character

``.''

at the start of a name or immediately following a slash must be matched explicitly, unless the shell option

dotglob

is set. When matching a pathname, the slash character must always be matched explicitly. In other cases, the

``.''

character is not treated specially. See the description of

shopt

below under

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

for a description of the

nocaseglob,

nullglob,

failglob,

and

dotglob

shell options.

The

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

shell variable may be used to restrict the set of file names matching a

pattern.

If

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

is set, each matching file name that also matches one of the patterns in

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

is removed from the list of matches. The file names

``.''

and

``..''

are always ignored when

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

is set and not null. However, setting

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

to a non-null value has the effect of enabling the

dotglob

shell option, so all other file names beginning with a

``.''

will match. To get the old behavior of ignoring file names beginning with a

``.'',

make

``.*''

one of the patterns in

.SM

GLOBIGNORE.

The

dotglob

option is disabled when

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

is unset.

Pattern Matching

Any character that appears in a pattern, other than the special pattern characters described below, matches itself. The NUL character may not occur in a pattern. A backslash escapes the following character; the escaping backslash is discarded when matching. The special pattern characters must be quoted if they are to be matched literally.

The special pattern characters have the following meanings:

*
Matches any string, including the null string. When the globstar shell option is enabled, and * is used in a pathname expansion context, two adjacent *s used as a single pattern will match all files and zero or more directories and subdirectories. If followed by a /, two adjacent *s will match only directories and subdirectories.
?
Matches any single character.
[...]
Matches any one of the enclosed characters. A pair of characters separated by a hyphen denotes a range expression; any character that sorts between those two characters, inclusive, using the current locale's collating sequence and character set, is matched. If the first character following the

[

is a

!

or a

^

then any character not enclosed is matched. The sorting order of characters in range expressions is determined by the current locale and the value of the

.SM

LC_COLLATE

shell variable, if set. A

-

may be matched by including it as the first or last character in the set. A

]

may be matched by including it as the first character in the set.
.sp 1 Within

[

and

],

character classes can be specified using the syntax [:class:], where class is one of the following classes defined in the POSIX standard:

.B

alnum alpha ascii blank cntrl digit graph lower print punct space upper word xdigit
A character class matches any character belonging to that class. The word character class matches letters, digits, and the character _.
.sp 1 Within

[

and

],

an equivalence class can be specified using the syntax [=c=], which matches all characters with the same collation weight (as defined by the current locale) as the character c.
.sp 1 Within

[

and

],

the syntax [.symbol.] matches the collating symbol symbol.

If the extglob shell option is enabled using the shopt builtin, several extended pattern matching operators are recognized. In the following description, a pattern-list is a list of one or more patterns separated by a |. Composite patterns may be formed using one or more of the following sub-patterns:

.sp 1

?(pattern-list)
Matches zero or one occurrence of the given patterns
*(pattern-list)
Matches zero or more occurrences of the given patterns
+(pattern-list)
Matches one or more occurrences of the given patterns
@(pattern-list)
Matches one of the given patterns
!(pattern-list)
Matches anything except one of the given patterns

Quote Removal

After the preceding expansions, all unquoted occurrences of the characters

e,

aq,

and " that did not result from one of the above expansions are removed.

REDIRECTION

Before a command is executed, its input and output may be

redirected

using a special notation interpreted by the shell. Redirection may also be used to open and close files for the current shell execution environment. The following redirection operators may precede or appear anywhere within a

simple command

or may follow a

command.

Redirections are processed in the order they appear, from left to right.

Each redirection that may be preceded by a file descriptor number may instead be preceded by a word of the form {varname}. In this case, for each redirection operator except >&- and <&-, the shell will allocate a file descriptor greater than 10 and assign it to varname. If >&- or <&- is preceded by {varname}, the value of varname defines the file descriptor to close.

In the following descriptions, if the file descriptor number is omitted, and the first character of the redirection operator is

<,

the redirection refers to the standard input (file descriptor 0). If the first character of the redirection operator is

>,

the redirection refers to the standard output (file descriptor 1).

The word following the redirection operator in the following descriptions, unless otherwise noted, is subjected to brace expansion, tilde expansion, parameter expansion, command substitution, arithmetic expansion, quote removal, pathname expansion, and word splitting. If it expands to more than one word,

bash

reports an error.

Note that the order of redirections is significant. For example, the command

ls > dirlist 2>&1

directs both standard output and standard error to the file

dirlist,

while the command

ls 2>&1 > dirlist

directs only the standard output to file

dirlist,

because the standard error was duplicated from the standard output before the standard output was redirected to

dirlist.

Bash handles several filenames specially when they are used in redirections, as described in the following table:

/dev/fd/fd
If fd is a valid integer, file descriptor fd is duplicated.
/dev/stdin
File descriptor 0 is duplicated.
/dev/stdout
File descriptor 1 is duplicated.
/dev/stderr
File descriptor 2 is duplicated.
/dev/tcp/host/port
If host is a valid hostname or Internet address, and port is an integer port number or service name, bash attempts to open a TCP connection to the corresponding socket.
/dev/udp/host/port
If host is a valid hostname or Internet address, and port is an integer port number or service name, bash attempts to open a UDP connection to the corresponding socket.

A failure to open or create a file causes the redirection to fail.

Redirections using file descriptors greater than 9 should be used with care, as they may conflict with file descriptors the shell uses internally.

Note that the

exec

builtin command can make redirections take effect in the current shell.

Redirecting Input

Redirection of input causes the file whose name results from the expansion of

word

to be opened for reading on file descriptor

n,

or the standard input (file descriptor 0) if

n

is not specified.

The general format for redirecting input is:

[n]<word

Redirecting Output

Redirection of output causes the file whose name results from the expansion of

word

to be opened for writing on file descriptor

n,

or the standard output (file descriptor 1) if

n

is not specified. If the file does not exist it is created; if it does exist it is truncated to zero size.

The general format for redirecting output is:

[n]>word

If the redirection operator is

>,

and the

noclobber

option to the

set

builtin has been enabled, the redirection will fail if the file whose name results from the expansion of word exists and is a regular file. If the redirection operator is

>|,

or the redirection operator is

>

and the

noclobber

option to the

set

builtin command is not enabled, the redirection is attempted even if the file named by word exists.

Appending Redirected Output

Redirection of output in this fashion causes the file whose name results from the expansion of

word

to be opened for appending on file descriptor

n,

or the standard output (file descriptor 1) if

n

is not specified. If the file does not exist it is created.

The general format for appending output is:

[n]>>word

Redirecting Standard Output and Standard Error

This construct allows both the standard output (file descriptor 1) and the standard error output (file descriptor 2) to be redirected to the file whose name is the expansion of

word.

There are two formats for redirecting standard output and standard error:

&>word

and
>&word

Of the two forms, the first is preferred. This is semantically equivalent to

>word 2>&1

Appending Standard Output and Standard Error

This construct allows both the standard output (file descriptor 1) and the standard error output (file descriptor 2) to be appended to the file whose name is the expansion of

word.

The format for appending standard output and standard error is:

&>>word

This is semantically equivalent to

>>word 2>&1

Here Documents

This type of redirection instructs the shell to read input from the current source until a line containing only

delimiter

(with no trailing blanks) is seen. All of the lines read up to that point are then used as the standard input for a command.

The format of here-documents is:

<<[-]word
        here-document
delimiter

No parameter expansion, command substitution, arithmetic expansion, or pathname expansion is performed on

word.

If any characters in

word

are quoted, the

delimiter

is the result of quote removal on

word,

and the lines in the here-document are not expanded. If word is unquoted, all lines of the here-document are subjected to parameter expansion, command substitution, and arithmetic expansion. In the latter case, the character sequence

e

is ignored, and

e

must be used to quote the characters

e,

$,

and

`.

If the redirection operator is

<<-,

then all leading tab characters are stripped from input lines and the line containing

delimiter.

This allows here-documents within shell scripts to be indented in a natural fashion.

Here Strings

A variant of here documents, the format is:

<<<word

The word is expanded and supplied to the command on its standard input.

Duplicating File Descriptors

The redirection operator

[n]<&word

is used to duplicate input file descriptors. If

word

expands to one or more digits, the file descriptor denoted by

n

is made to be a copy of that file descriptor. If the digits in

word

do not specify a file descriptor open for input, a redirection error occurs. If

word

evaluates to

-,

file descriptor

n

is closed. If

n

is not specified, the standard input (file descriptor 0) is used.

The operator

[n]>&word

is used similarly to duplicate output file descriptors. If

n

is not specified, the standard output (file descriptor 1) is used. If the digits in

word

do not specify a file descriptor open for output, a redirection error occurs. As a special case, if n is omitted, and word does not expand to one or more digits, the standard output and standard error are redirected as described previously.

Moving File Descriptors

The redirection operator

[n]<&digit-

moves the file descriptor digit to file descriptor

n,

or the standard input (file descriptor 0) if n is not specified. digit is closed after being duplicated to n.

Similarly, the redirection operator

[n]>&digit-

moves the file descriptor digit to file descriptor

n,

or the standard output (file descriptor 1) if n is not specified.

Opening File Descriptors for Reading and Writing

The redirection operator

[n]<>word

causes the file whose name is the expansion of

word

to be opened for both reading and writing on file descriptor

n,

or on file descriptor 0 if

n

is not specified. If the file does not exist, it is created.

ALIASES

Aliases allow a string to be substituted for a word when it is used as the first word of a simple command. The shell maintains a list of aliases that may be set and unset with the

alias

and

unalias

builtin commands (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below). The first word of each simple command, if unquoted, is checked to see if it has an alias. If so, that word is replaced by the text of the alias. The characters /, $, `, and = and any of the shell metacharacters or quoting characters listed above may not appear in an alias name. The replacement text may contain any valid shell input, including shell metacharacters. The first word of the replacement text is tested for aliases, but a word that is identical to an alias being expanded is not expanded a second time. This means that one may alias

ls

to

ls -F ,

for instance, and

bash

does not try to recursively expand the replacement text. If the last character of the alias value is a

blank,

then the next command word following the alias is also checked for alias expansion.

Aliases are created and listed with the

alias

command, and removed with the

unalias

command.

There is no mechanism for using arguments in the replacement text. If arguments are needed, a shell function should be used (see

.SM

FUNCTIONS

below).

Aliases are not expanded when the shell is not interactive, unless the

expand_aliases

shell option is set using

shopt

(see the description of

shopt

under

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS below).

The rules concerning the definition and use of aliases are somewhat confusing.

Bash

always reads at least one complete line of input before executing any of the commands on that line. Aliases are expanded when a command is read, not when it is executed. Therefore, an alias definition appearing on the same line as another command does not take effect until the next line of input is read. The commands following the alias definition on that line are not affected by the new alias. This behavior is also an issue when functions are executed. Aliases are expanded when a function definition is read, not when the function is executed, because a function definition is itself a compound command. As a consequence, aliases defined in a function are not available until after that function is executed. To be safe, always put alias definitions on a separate line, and do not use

alias

in compound commands.

For almost every purpose, aliases are superseded by shell functions.

FUNCTIONS

A shell function, defined as described above under

.SM

SHELL GRAMMAR ,

stores a series of commands for later execution. When the name of a shell function is used as a simple command name, the list of commands associated with that function name is executed. Functions are executed in the context of the current shell; no new process is created to interpret them (contrast this with the execution of a shell script). When a function is executed, the arguments to the function become the positional parameters during its execution. The special parameter

#

is updated to reflect the change. Special parameter 0 is unchanged. The first element of the

.SM

FUNCNAME

variable is set to the name of the function while the function is executing.

All other aspects of the shell execution environment are identical between a function and its caller with these exceptions: the

.SM

DEBUG

and

RETURN

traps (see the description of the

trap

builtin under

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below) are not inherited unless the function has been given the trace attribute (see the description of the

.SM

declare

builtin below) or the -o functrace shell option has been enabled with the set builtin (in which case all functions inherit the DEBUG and RETURN traps), and the

.SM

ERR

trap is not inherited unless the -o errtrace shell option has been enabled.

Variables local to the function may be declared with the

local

builtin command. Ordinarily, variables and their values are shared between the function and its caller.

The FUNCNEST variable, if set to a numeric value greater than 0, defines a maximum function nesting level. Function invocations that exceed the limit cause the entire command to abort.

If the builtin command

return

is executed in a function, the function completes and execution resumes with the next command after the function call. Any command associated with the RETURN trap is executed before execution resumes. When a function completes, the values of the positional parameters and the special parameter

#

are restored to the values they had prior to the function's execution.

Function names and definitions may be listed with the

-f

option to the

declare

or

typeset

builtin commands. The

-F

option to

declare

or

typeset

will list the function names only (and optionally the source file and line number, if the extdebug shell option is enabled). Functions may be exported so that subshells automatically have them defined with the

-f

option to the

export

builtin. A function definition may be deleted using the -f option to the

unset

builtin. Note that shell functions and variables with the same name may result in multiple identically-named entries in the environment passed to the shell's children. Care should be taken in cases where this may cause a problem.

Functions may be recursive. The FUNCNEST variable may be used to limit the depth of the function call stack and restrict the number of function invocations. By default, no limit is imposed on the number of recursive calls.

ARITHMETIC EVALUATION

The shell allows arithmetic expressions to be evaluated, under certain circumstances (see the let and declare builtin commands and Arithmetic Expansion). Evaluation is done in fixed-width integers with no check for overflow, though division by 0 is trapped and flagged as an error. The operators and their precedence, associativity, and values are the same as in the C language. The following list of operators is grouped into levels of equal-precedence operators. The levels are listed in order of decreasing precedence.

id++ id--
variable post-increment and post-decrement
++id --id
variable pre-increment and pre-decrement
- +
unary minus and plus
! ~
logical and bitwise negation
**
exponentiation
* / %
multiplication, division, remainder
+ -
addition, subtraction
<< >>
left and right bitwise shifts
<= >= < >
comparison
== !=
equality and inequality
&
bitwise AND
^
bitwise exclusive OR
|
bitwise OR
&&
logical AND
||
logical OR
expr?expr:expr
conditional operator
= *= /= %= += -= <<= >>= &= ^= |=
assignment
expr1 , expr2
comma

Shell variables are allowed as operands; parameter expansion is performed before the expression is evaluated. Within an expression, shell variables may also be referenced by name without using the parameter expansion syntax. A shell variable that is null or unset evaluates to 0 when referenced by name without using the parameter expansion syntax. The value of a variable is evaluated as an arithmetic expression when it is referenced, or when a variable which has been given the integer attribute using declare -i is assigned a value. A null value evaluates to 0. A shell variable need not have its integer attribute turned on to be used in an expression.

Constants with a leading 0 are interpreted as octal numbers. A leading 0x or 0X denotes hexadecimal. Otherwise, numbers take the form [base#]n, where the optional base is a decimal number between 2 and 64 representing the arithmetic base, and n is a number in that base. If base# is omitted, then base 10 is used. The digits greater than 9 are represented by the lowercase letters, the uppercase letters, @, and _, in that order. If base is less than or equal to 36, lowercase and uppercase letters may be used interchangeably to represent numbers between 10 and 35.

Operators are evaluated in order of precedence. Sub-expressions in parentheses are evaluated first and may override the precedence rules above.

CONDITIONAL EXPRESSIONS

Conditional expressions are used by the [[ compound command and the test and [ builtin commands to test file attributes and perform string and arithmetic comparisons. Expressions are formed from the following unary or binary primaries. If any file argument to one of the primaries is of the form /dev/fd/n, then file descriptor n is checked. If the file argument to one of the primaries is one of /dev/stdin, /dev/stdout, or /dev/stderr, file descriptor 0, 1, or 2, respectively, is checked.

Unless otherwise specified, primaries that operate on files follow symbolic links and operate on the target of the link, rather than the link itself. .sp 1 When used with [[, the < and > operators sort lexicographically using the current locale. The test command sorts using ASCII ordering.

.sp 1

-a file
True if file exists.
-b file
True if file exists and is a block special file.
-c file
True if file exists and is a character special file.
-d file
True if file exists and is a directory.
-e file
True if file exists.
-f file
True if file exists and is a regular file.
-g file
True if file exists and is set-group-id.
-h file
True if file exists and is a symbolic link.
-k file
True if file exists and its ``sticky'' bit is set.
-p file
True if file exists and is a named pipe (FIFO).
-r file
True if file exists and is readable.
-s file
True if file exists and has a size greater than zero.
-t fd
True if file descriptor

fd

is open and refers to a terminal.
-u file
True if file exists and its set-user-id bit is set.
-w file
True if file exists and is writable.
-x file
True if file exists and is executable.
-G file
True if file exists and is owned by the effective group id.
-L file
True if file exists and is a symbolic link.
-N file
True if file exists and has been modified since it was last read.
-O file
True if file exists and is owned by the effective user id.
-S file
True if file exists and is a socket.
file1 -ef file2
True if file1 and file2 refer to the same device and inode numbers.
file1 -nt file2
True if file1 is newer (according to modification date) than file2, or if file1 exists and file2 does not.
file1 -ot file2
True if file1 is older than file2, or if file2 exists and file1 does not.
-o optname
True if the shell option

optname

is enabled. See the list of options under the description of the

-o

option to the

set

builtin below.
-v varname
True if the shell variable

varname

is set (has been assigned a value).
-z string
True if the length of string is zero.
string
-n string
True if the length of

string

is non-zero.
string1 == string2
string1 = string2
True if the strings are equal. = should be used with the test command for POSIX conformance.
string1 != string2
True if the strings are not equal.
string1 < string2
True if string1 sorts before string2 lexicographically.
string1 > string2
True if string1 sorts after string2 lexicographically.
arg1 OP arg2

.SM

OP

is one of

-eq,

-ne,

-lt,

-le,

-gt,

or

-ge.

These arithmetic binary operators return true if arg1 is equal to, not equal to, less than, less than or equal to, greater than, or greater than or equal to arg2, respectively.

Arg1

and

arg2

may be positive or negative integers.

SIMPLE COMMAND EXPANSION

When a simple command is executed, the shell performs the following expansions, assignments, and redirections, from left to right.

If no command name results, the variable assignments affect the current shell environment. Otherwise, the variables are added to the environment of the executed command and do not affect the current shell environment. If any of the assignments attempts to assign a value to a readonly variable, an error occurs, and the command exits with a non-zero status.

If no command name results, redirections are performed, but do not affect the current shell environment. A redirection error causes the command to exit with a non-zero status.

If there is a command name left after expansion, execution proceeds as described below. Otherwise, the command exits. If one of the expansions contained a command substitution, the exit status of the command is the exit status of the last command substitution performed. If there were no command substitutions, the command exits with a status of zero.

COMMAND EXECUTION

After a command has been split into words, if it results in a simple command and an optional list of arguments, the following actions are taken.

If the command name contains no slashes, the shell attempts to locate it. If there exists a shell function by that name, that function is invoked as described above in

.SM

FUNCTIONS.

If the name does not match a function, the shell searches for it in the list of shell builtins. If a match is found, that builtin is invoked.

If the name is neither a shell function nor a builtin, and contains no slashes,

bash

searches each element of the

.SM

PATH

for a directory containing an executable file by that name.

Bash

uses a hash table to remember the full pathnames of executable files (see

hash

under

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below). A full search of the directories in

.SM

PATH

is performed only if the command is not found in the hash table. If the search is unsuccessful, the shell searches for a defined shell function named command_not_found_handle. If that function exists, it is invoked with the original command and the original command's arguments as its arguments, and the function's exit status becomes the exit status of the shell. If that function is not defined, the shell prints an error message and returns an exit status of 127.

If the search is successful, or if the command name contains one or more slashes, the shell executes the named program in a separate execution environment. Argument 0 is set to the name given, and the remaining arguments to the command are set to the arguments given, if any.

If this execution fails because the file is not in executable format, and the file is not a directory, it is assumed to be a shell script, a file containing shell commands. A subshell is spawned to execute it. This subshell reinitializes itself, so that the effect is as if a new shell had been invoked to handle the script, with the exception that the locations of commands remembered by the parent (see

hash

below under

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS) are retained by the child.

If the program is a file beginning with

#!,

the remainder of the first line specifies an interpreter for the program. The shell executes the specified interpreter on operating systems that do not handle this executable format themselves. The arguments to the interpreter consist of a single optional argument following the interpreter name on the first line of the program, followed by the name of the program, followed by the command arguments, if any.

COMMAND EXECUTION ENVIRONMENT

The shell has an execution environment, which consists of the following:

When a simple command other than a builtin or shell function is to be executed, it is invoked in a separate execution environment that consists of the following. Unless otherwise noted, the values are inherited from the shell. .sp 1

A command invoked in this separate environment cannot affect the shell's execution environment.

Command substitution, commands grouped with parentheses, and asynchronous commands are invoked in a subshell environment that is a duplicate of the shell environment, except that traps caught by the shell are reset to the values that the shell inherited from its parent at invocation. Builtin commands that are invoked as part of a pipeline are also executed in a subshell environment. Changes made to the subshell environment cannot affect the shell's execution environment.

Subshells spawned to execute command substitutions inherit the value of the -e option from the parent shell. When not in posix mode, bash clears the -e option in such subshells.

If a command is followed by a & and job control is not active, the default standard input for the command is the empty file /dev/null. Otherwise, the invoked command inherits the file descriptors of the calling shell as modified by redirections.

ENVIRONMENT

When a program is invoked it is given an array of strings called the

environment.

This is a list of name-value pairs, of the form

name=value .

The shell provides several ways to manipulate the environment. On invocation, the shell scans its own environment and creates a parameter for each name found, automatically marking it for

export

to child processes. Executed commands inherit the environment. The

export

and

declare -x

commands allow parameters and functions to be added to and deleted from the environment. If the value of a parameter in the environment is modified, the new value becomes part of the environment, replacing the old. The environment inherited by any executed command consists of the shell's initial environment, whose values may be modified in the shell, less any pairs removed by the

unset

command, plus any additions via the

export

and

declare -x

commands.

The environment for any

simple command

or function may be augmented temporarily by prefixing it with parameter assignments, as described above in

.SM

PARAMETERS.

These assignment statements affect only the environment seen by that command.

If the

-k

option is set (see the

set

builtin command below), then

all

parameter assignments are placed in the environment for a command, not just those that precede the command name.

When

bash

invokes an external command, the variable

_

is set to the full file name of the command and passed to that command in its environment.

EXIT STATUS

The exit status of an executed command is the value returned by the waitpid system call or equivalent function. Exit statuses fall between 0 and 255, though, as explained below, the shell may use values above 125 specially. Exit statuses from shell builtins and compound commands are also limited to this range. Under certain circumstances, the shell will use special values to indicate specific failure modes.

For the shell's purposes, a command which exits with a zero exit status has succeeded. An exit status of zero indicates success. A non-zero exit status indicates failure. When a command terminates on a fatal signal N, bash uses the value of 128+N as the exit status.

If a command is not found, the child process created to execute it returns a status of 127. If a command is found but is not executable, the return status is 126.

If a command fails because of an error during expansion or redirection, the exit status is greater than zero.

Shell builtin commands return a status of 0 (true) if successful, and non-zero (false) if an error occurs while they execute. All builtins return an exit status of 2 to indicate incorrect usage.

Bash itself returns the exit status of the last command executed, unless a syntax error occurs, in which case it exits with a non-zero value. See also the exit builtin command below.

SIGNALS

When bash is interactive, in the absence of any traps, it ignores

.SM

SIGTERM

(so that kill 0 does not kill an interactive shell), and

.SM

SIGINT

is caught and handled (so that the wait builtin is interruptible). In all cases, bash ignores

.SM

SIGQUIT.

If job control is in effect,

bash

ignores

.SM

SIGTTIN,

.SM

SIGTTOU,

and

.SM

SIGTSTP.

Non-builtin commands run by bash have signal handlers set to the values inherited by the shell from its parent. When job control is not in effect, asynchronous commands ignore

.SM

SIGINT

and

.SM

SIGQUIT

in addition to these inherited handlers. Commands run as a result of command substitution ignore the keyboard-generated job control signals

.SM

SIGTTIN,

.SM

SIGTTOU,

and

.SM

SIGTSTP.

The shell exits by default upon receipt of a

.SM

SIGHUP.

Before exiting, an interactive shell resends the

.SM

SIGHUP

to all jobs, running or stopped. Stopped jobs are sent

.SM

SIGCONT

to ensure that they receive the

.SM

SIGHUP.

To prevent the shell from sending the signal to a particular job, it should be removed from the jobs table with the

disown

builtin (see

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below) or marked to not receive

.SM

SIGHUP

using

disown -h .

If the

huponexit

shell option has been set with

shopt,

bash

sends a

.SM

SIGHUP

to all jobs when an interactive login shell exits.

If bash is waiting for a command to complete and receives a signal for which a trap has been set, the trap will not be executed until the command completes. When bash is waiting for an asynchronous command via the wait builtin, the reception of a signal for which a trap has been set will cause the wait builtin to return immediately with an exit status greater than 128, immediately after which the trap is executed.

JOB CONTROL

Job control

refers to the ability to selectively stop (suspend) the execution of processes and continue (resume) their execution at a later point. A user typically employs this facility via an interactive interface supplied jointly by the operating system kernel's terminal driver and

bash.

The shell associates a

job

with each pipeline. It keeps a table of currently executing jobs, which may be listed with the

jobs

command. When

bash

starts a job asynchronously (in the

background),

it prints a line that looks like:

[1] 25647

indicating that this job is job number 1 and that the process ID of the last process in the pipeline associated with this job is 25647. All of the processes in a single pipeline are members of the same job.

Bash

uses the

job

abstraction as the basis for job control.

To facilitate the implementation of the user interface to job control, the operating system maintains the notion of a current terminal process group ID. Members of this process group (processes whose process group ID is equal to the current terminal process group ID) receive keyboard-generated signals such as

.SM

SIGINT.

These processes are said to be in the

foreground.

Background

processes are those whose process group ID differs from the terminal's; such processes are immune to keyboard-generated signals. Only foreground processes are allowed to read from or, if the user so specifies with CWstty tostop, write to the terminal. Background processes which attempt to read from (write to when CWstty tostop is in effect) the terminal are sent a

.SM

SIGTTIN (SIGTTOU)

signal by the kernel's terminal driver, which, unless caught, suspends the process.

If the operating system on which

bash

is running supports job control,

bash

contains facilities to use it. Typing the

suspend

character (typically

^Z,

Control-Z) while a process is running causes that process to be stopped and returns control to

bash.

Typing the

"delayed suspend"

character (typically

^Y,

Control-Y) causes the process to be stopped when it attempts to read input from the terminal, and control to be returned to

bash.

The user may then manipulate the state of this job, using the

bg

command to continue it in the background, the

fg

command to continue it in the foreground, or the

kill

command to kill it. A ^Z takes effect immediately, and has the additional side effect of causing pending output and typeahead to be discarded.

There are a number of ways to refer to a job in the shell. The character

%

introduces a job specification (jobspec). Job number

n

may be referred to as

%n.

A job may also be referred to using a prefix of the name used to start it, or using a substring that appears in its command line. For example,

%ce

refers to a stopped

ce

job. If a prefix matches more than one job,

bash

reports an error. Using

%?ce,

on the other hand, refers to any job containing the string

ce

in its command line. If the substring matches more than one job,

bash

reports an error. The symbols

%%

and

%+

refer to the shell's notion of the

current job ,

which is the last job stopped while it was in the foreground or started in the background. The

"previous job"

may be referenced using

%-.

If there is only a single job, %+ and %- can both be used to refer to that job. In output pertaining to jobs (e.g., the output of the

jobs

command), the current job is always flagged with a

+,

and the previous job with a

-.

A single % (with no accompanying job specification) also refers to the current job.

Simply naming a job can be used to bring it into the foreground:

%1

is a synonym for ``fg %1'', bringing job 1 from the background into the foreground. Similarly,

``%1 &''

resumes job 1 in the background, equivalent to ``bg %1''.

The shell learns immediately whenever a job changes state. Normally,

bash

waits until it is about to print a prompt before reporting changes in a job's status so as to not interrupt any other output. If the

-b

option to the

set

builtin command is enabled,

bash

reports such changes immediately. Any trap on

.SM

SIGCHLD

is executed for each child that exits.

If an attempt to exit

bash

is made while jobs are stopped (or, if the checkjobs shell option has been enabled using the shopt builtin, running), the shell prints a warning message, and, if the checkjobs option is enabled, lists the jobs and their statuses. The

jobs

command may then be used to inspect their status. If a second attempt to exit is made without an intervening command, the shell does not print another warning, and any stopped jobs are terminated.

PROMPTING

When executing interactively,

bash

displays the primary prompt

.SM

PS1

when it is ready to read a command, and the secondary prompt

.SM

PS2

when it needs more input to complete a command.

Bash

allows these prompt strings to be customized by inserting a number of backslash-escaped special characters that are decoded as follows:
ea
an ASCII bell character (07)
ed
the date in "Weekday Month Date" format (e.g., "Tue May 26")
eD{format}
the format is passed to strftime(3) and the result is inserted into the prompt string; an empty format results in a locale-specific time representation. The braces are required
ee
an ASCII escape character (033)
eh
the hostname up to the first `.'
eH
the hostname
ej
the number of jobs currently managed by the shell
el
the basename of the shell's terminal device name
en
newline
er
carriage return
es
the name of the shell, the basename of

$0

(the portion following the final slash)
et
the current time in 24-hour HH:MM:SS format
eT
the current time in 12-hour HH:MM:SS format
[email protected]
the current time in 12-hour am/pm format
eA
the current time in 24-hour HH:MM format
eu
the username of the current user
ev
the version of bash (e.g., 2.00)
eV
the release of bash, version + patch level (e.g., 2.00.0)
ew
the current working directory, with

.SM

$HOME

abbreviated with a tilde (uses the value of the

.SM

PROMPT_DIRTRIM

variable)
eW
the basename of the current working directory, with

.SM

$HOME

abbreviated with a tilde
e!
the history number of this command
e#
the command number of this command
e$
if the effective UID is 0, a

#,

otherwise a

$

ennn
the character corresponding to the octal number nnn
ee
a backslash
e[
begin a sequence of non-printing characters, which could be used to embed a terminal control sequence into the prompt
e]
end a sequence of non-printing characters

The command number and the history number are usually different: the history number of a command is its position in the history list, which may include commands restored from the history file (see

.SM

HISTORY

below), while the command number is the position in the sequence of commands executed during the current shell session. After the string is decoded, it is expanded via parameter expansion, command substitution, arithmetic expansion, and quote removal, subject to the value of the

promptvars

shell option (see the description of the

shopt

command under

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below).

READLINE

This is the library that handles reading input when using an interactive shell, unless the

--noediting

option is given at shell invocation. Line editing is also used when using the -e option to the read builtin. By default, the line editing commands are similar to those of Emacs. A vi-style line editing interface is also available. Line editing can be enabled at any time using the

-o emacs

or

-o vi

options to the

set

builtin (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below). To turn off line editing after the shell is running, use the

+o emacs

or

+o vi

options to the

set

builtin.

Readline Notation

In this section, the Emacs-style notation is used to denote keystrokes. Control keys are denoted by C-key, e.g., C-n means Control-N. Similarly,

meta

keys are denoted by M-key, so M-x means Meta-X. (On keyboards without a

meta

key, M-x means ESC x, i.e., press the Escape key then the

x

key. This makes ESC the meta prefix. The combination M-C-x means ESC-Control-x, or press the Escape key then hold the Control key while pressing the

x

key.)

Readline commands may be given numeric

arguments,

which normally act as a repeat count. Sometimes, however, it is the sign of the argument that is significant. Passing a negative argument to a command that acts in the forward direction (e.g., kill-line) causes that command to act in a backward direction. Commands whose behavior with arguments deviates from this are noted below.

When a command is described as killing text, the text deleted is saved for possible future retrieval (yanking). The killed text is saved in a kill ring. Consecutive kills cause the text to be accumulated into one unit, which can be yanked all at once. Commands which do not kill text separate the chunks of text on the kill ring.

Readline Initialization

Readline is customized by putting commands in an initialization file (the inputrc file). The name of this file is taken from the value of the

.SM

INPUTRC

variable. If that variable is unset, the default is

~/.inputrc.

When a program which uses the readline library starts up, the initialization file is read, and the key bindings and variables are set. There are only a few basic constructs allowed in the readline initialization file. Blank lines are ignored. Lines beginning with a # are comments. Lines beginning with a $ indicate conditional constructs. Other lines denote key bindings and variable settings.

The default key-bindings may be changed with an

inputrc

file. Other programs that use this library may add their own commands and bindings.

For example, placing

M-Control-u: universal-argument

or
C-Meta-u: universal-argument
into the

inputrc

would make M-C-u execute the readline command

universal-argument.

The following symbolic character names are recognized:

RUBOUT,

DEL,

ESC,

LFD,

NEWLINE,

RET,

RETURN,

SPC,

SPACE,

and

TAB.

In addition to command names, readline allows keys to be bound to a string that is inserted when the key is pressed (a macro).

Readline Key Bindings

The syntax for controlling key bindings in the

inputrc

file is simple. All that is required is the name of the command or the text of a macro and a key sequence to which it should be bound. The name may be specified in one of two ways: as a symbolic key name, possibly with Meta- or Control- prefixes, or as a key sequence.

When using the form keyname:function-name or macro,

keyname

is the name of a key spelled out in English. For example:

Control-u: universal-argument
Meta-Rubout: backward-kill-word
Control-o: "> output"

In the above example,

C-u

is bound to the function

universal-argument,

M-DEL

is bound to the function

backward-kill-word,

and

C-o

is bound to run the macro expressed on the right hand side (that is, to insert the text ``> output'' into the line).

In the second form, "keyseq":function-name or macro,

keyseq

differs from

keyname

above in that strings denoting an entire key sequence may be specified by placing the sequence within double quotes. Some GNU Emacs style key escapes can be used, as in the following example, but the symbolic character names are not recognized.

"eC-u": universal-argument
"eC-xeC-r": re-read-init-file
"ee[11~": "Function Key 1"

In this example,

C-u

is again bound to the function

universal-argument.

"C-x C-r"

is bound to the function

re-read-init-file,

and

"ESC [ 1 1 ~"

is bound to insert the text ``Function Key 1''.

The full set of GNU Emacs style escape sequences is

eC-
control prefix
eM-
meta prefix
ee
an escape character
ee
backslash
e"
literal "
eaq
literal aq

In addition to the GNU Emacs style escape sequences, a second set of backslash escapes is available:

ea
alert (bell)
eb
backspace
ed
delete
ef
form feed
en
newline
er
carriage return
et
horizontal tab
ev
vertical tab
ennn
the eight-bit character whose value is the octal value nnn (one to three digits)
exHH
the eight-bit character whose value is the hexadecimal value HH (one or two hex digits)

When entering the text of a macro, single or double quotes must be used to indicate a macro definition. Unquoted text is assumed to be a function name. In the macro body, the backslash escapes described above are expanded. Backslash will quote any other character in the macro text, including " and aq.

Bash

allows the current readline key bindings to be displayed or modified with the

bind

builtin command. The editing mode may be switched during interactive use by using the

-o

option to the

set

builtin command (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below).

Readline Variables

Readline has variables that can be used to further customize its behavior. A variable may be set in the

inputrc

file with a statement of the form

set variable-name value

Except where noted, readline variables can take the values

On

or

Off

(without regard to case). Unrecognized variable names are ignored. When a variable value is read, empty or null values, "on" (case-insensitive), and "1" are equivalent to On. All other values are equivalent to Off. The variables and their default values are:

bell-style (audible)
Controls what happens when readline wants to ring the terminal bell. If set to none, readline never rings the bell. If set to visible, readline uses a visible bell if one is available. If set to audible, readline attempts to ring the terminal's bell.
bind-tty-special-chars (On)
If set to On, readline attempts to bind the control characters treated specially by the kernel's terminal driver to their readline equivalents.
comment-begin (``#'')
The string that is inserted when the readline

insert-comment

command is executed. This command is bound to

M-#

in emacs mode and to

#

in vi command mode.
completion-ignore-case (Off)
If set to On, readline performs filename matching and completion in a case-insensitive fashion.
completion-prefix-display-length(0)
The length in characters of the common prefix of a list of possible completions that is displayed without modification. When set to a value greater than zero, common prefixes longer than this value are replaced with an ellipsis when displaying possible completions.
completion-query-items (100)
This determines when the user is queried about viewing the number of possible completions generated by the possible-completions command. It may be set to any integer value greater than or equal to zero. If the number of possible completions is greater than or equal to the value of this variable, the user is asked whether or not he wishes to view them; otherwise they are simply listed on the terminal.
convert-meta (On)
If set to On, readline will convert characters with the eighth bit set to an ASCII key sequence by stripping the eighth bit and prefixing an escape character (in effect, using escape as the meta prefix).
disable-completion (Off)
If set to On, readline will inhibit word completion. Completion characters will be inserted into the line as if they had been mapped to self-insert.
editing-mode (emacs)
Controls whether readline begins with a set of key bindings similar to Emacs or vi.

editing-mode

can be set to either

emacs

or

vi.

echo-control-characters (On)
When set to On, on operating systems that indicate they support it, readline echoes a character corresponding to a signal generated from the keyboard.
enable-keypad (Off)
When set to On, readline will try to enable the application keypad when it is called. Some systems need this to enable the arrow keys.
enable-meta-key (On)
When set to On, readline will try to enable any meta modifier key the terminal claims to support when it is called. On many terminals, the meta key is used to send eight-bit characters.
expand-tilde (Off)
If set to On, tilde expansion is performed when readline attempts word completion.
history-preserve-point (Off)
If set to On, the history code attempts to place point at the same location on each history line retrieved with previous-history or next-history.
history-size(0)
Set the maximum number of history entries saved in the history list. If set to zero, the number of entries in the history list is not limited.
horizontal-scroll-mode (Off)
When set to On, makes readline use a single line for display, scrolling the input horizontally on a single screen line when it becomes longer than the screen width rather than wrapping to a new line.
input-meta (Off)
If set to On, readline will enable eight-bit input (that is, it will not strip the high bit from the characters it reads), regardless of what the terminal claims it can support. The name

meta-flag

is a synonym for this variable.
isearch-terminators (``C-[C-J'')
The string of characters that should terminate an incremental search without subsequently executing the character as a command. If this variable has not been given a value, the characters ESC and C-J will terminate an incremental search.
keymap (emacs)
Set the current readline keymap. The set of valid keymap names is emacs, emacs-standard, emacs-meta, emacs-ctlx, vi, vi-command, and

vi-insert.

vi is equivalent to vi-command; emacs is equivalent to emacs-standard. The default value is

emacs;

the value of

editing-mode

also affects the default keymap.
mark-directories (On)
If set to On, completed directory names have a slash appended.
mark-modified-lines (Off)
If set to On, history lines that have been modified are displayed with a preceding asterisk (*).
mark-symlinked-directories (Off)
If set to On, completed names which are symbolic links to directories have a slash appended (subject to the value of mark-directories).
match-hidden-files (On)
This variable, when set to On, causes readline to match files whose names begin with a `.' (hidden files) when performing filename completion. If set to Off, the leading `.' must be supplied by the user in the filename to be completed.
menu-complete-display-prefix (Off)
If set to On, menu completion displays the common prefix of the list of possible completions (which may be empty) before cycling through the list.
output-meta (Off)
If set to On, readline will display characters with the eighth bit set directly rather than as a meta-prefixed escape sequence.
page-completions (On)
If set to On, readline uses an internal more-like pager to display a screenful of possible completions at a time.
print-completions-horizontally (Off)
If set to On, readline will display completions with matches sorted horizontally in alphabetical order, rather than down the screen.
revert-all-at-newline (Off)
If set to On, readline will undo all changes to history lines before returning when accept-line is executed. By default, history lines may be modified and retain individual undo lists across calls to readline.
show-all-if-ambiguous (Off)
This alters the default behavior of the completion functions. If set to

On,

words which have more than one possible completion cause the matches to be listed immediately instead of ringing the bell.
show-all-if-unmodified (Off)
This alters the default behavior of the completion functions in a fashion similar to show-all-if-ambiguous. If set to

On,

words which have more than one possible completion without any possible partial completion (the possible completions don't share a common prefix) cause the matches to be listed immediately instead of ringing the bell.
skip-completed-text (Off)
If set to On, this alters the default completion behavior when inserting a single match into the line. It's only active when performing completion in the middle of a word. If enabled, readline does not insert characters from the completion that match characters after point in the word being completed, so portions of the word following the cursor are not duplicated.
visible-stats (Off)
If set to On, a character denoting a file's type as reported by stat(2) is appended to the filename when listing possible completions.

Readline Conditional Constructs

Readline implements a facility similar in spirit to the conditional compilation features of the C preprocessor which allows key bindings and variable settings to be performed as the result of tests. There are four parser directives used.

Searching

Readline provides commands for searching through the command history (see

.SM

HISTORY

below) for lines containing a specified string. There are two search modes:

incremental

and

non-incremental.

Incremental searches begin before the user has finished typing the search string. As each character of the search string is typed, readline displays the next entry from the history matching the string typed so far. An incremental search requires only as many characters as needed to find the desired history entry. The characters present in the value of the isearch-terminators variable are used to terminate an incremental search. If that variable has not been assigned a value the Escape and Control-J characters will terminate an incremental search. Control-G will abort an incremental search and restore the original line. When the search is terminated, the history entry containing the search string becomes the current line.

To find other matching entries in the history list, type Control-S or Control-R as appropriate. This will search backward or forward in the history for the next entry matching the search string typed so far. Any other key sequence bound to a readline command will terminate the search and execute that command. For instance, a newline will terminate the search and accept the line, thereby executing the command from the history list.

Readline remembers the last incremental search string. If two Control-Rs are typed without any intervening characters defining a new search string, any remembered search string is used.

Non-incremental searches read the entire search string before starting to search for matching history lines. The search string may be typed by the user or be part of the contents of the current line.

Readline Command Names

The following is a list of the names of the commands and the default key sequences to which they are bound. Command names without an accompanying key sequence are unbound by default. In the following descriptions, point refers to the current cursor position, and mark refers to a cursor position saved by the set-mark command. The text between the point and mark is referred to as the region.

Commands for Moving

beginning-of-line (C-a)
Move to the start of the current line.
end-of-line (C-e)
Move to the end of the line.
forward-char (C-f)
Move forward a character.
backward-char (C-b)
Move back a character.
forward-word (M-f)
Move forward to the end of the next word. Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits).
backward-word (M-b)
Move back to the start of the current or previous word. Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits).
shell-forward-word
Move forward to the end of the next word. Words are delimited by non-quoted shell metacharacters.
shell-backward-word
Move back to the start of the current or previous word. Words are delimited by non-quoted shell metacharacters.
clear-screen (C-l)
Clear the screen leaving the current line at the top of the screen. With an argument, refresh the current line without clearing the screen.
redraw-current-line
Refresh the current line.

Commands for Manipulating the History

accept-line (Newline, Return)
Accept the line regardless of where the cursor is. If this line is non-empty, add it to the history list according to the state of the

.SM

HISTCONTROL

variable. If the line is a modified history line, then restore the history line to its original state.
previous-history (C-p)
Fetch the previous command from the history list, moving back in the list.
next-history (C-n)
Fetch the next command from the history list, moving forward in the list.
beginning-of-history (M-<)
Move to the first line in the history.
end-of-history (M->)
Move to the end of the input history, i.e., the line currently being entered.
reverse-search-history (C-r)
Search backward starting at the current line and moving `up' through the history as necessary. This is an incremental search.
forward-search-history (C-s)
Search forward starting at the current line and moving `down' through the history as necessary. This is an incremental search.
non-incremental-reverse-search-history (M-p)
Search backward through the history starting at the current line using a non-incremental search for a string supplied by the user.
non-incremental-forward-search-history (M-n)
Search forward through the history using a non-incremental search for a string supplied by the user.
history-search-forward
Search forward through the history for the string of characters between the start of the current line and the point. This is a non-incremental search.
history-search-backward
Search backward through the history for the string of characters between the start of the current line and the point. This is a non-incremental search.
yank-nth-arg (M-C-y)
Insert the first argument to the previous command (usually the second word on the previous line) at point. With an argument

n,

insert the nth word from the previous command (the words in the previous command begin with word 0). A negative argument inserts the nth word from the end of the previous command. Once the argument n is computed, the argument is extracted as if the "!n" history expansion had been specified.
.B
yank-last-arg (M-., M-_) Insert the last argument to the previous command (the last word of the previous history entry). With a numeric argument, behave exactly like yank-nth-arg. Successive calls to yank-last-arg move back through the history list, inserting the last word (or the word specified by the argument to the first call) of each line in turn. Any numeric argument supplied to these successive calls determines the direction to move through the history. A negative argument switches the direction through the history (back or forward). The history expansion facilities are used to extract the last argument, as if the "!$" history expansion had been specified.
shell-expand-line (M-C-e)
Expand the line as the shell does. This performs alias and history expansion as well as all of the shell word expansions. See

.SM

HISTORY EXPANSION

below for a description of history expansion.
history-expand-line (M-^)
Perform history expansion on the current line. See

.SM

HISTORY EXPANSION

below for a description of history expansion.
magic-space
Perform history expansion on the current line and insert a space. See

.SM

HISTORY EXPANSION

below for a description of history expansion.
alias-expand-line
Perform alias expansion on the current line. See

.SM

ALIASES

above for a description of alias expansion.
history-and-alias-expand-line
Perform history and alias expansion on the current line.
insert-last-argument (M-., M-_)
A synonym for yank-last-arg.
operate-and-get-next (C-o)
Accept the current line for execution and fetch the next line relative to the current line from the history for editing. Any argument is ignored.
edit-and-execute-command (C-xC-e)
Invoke an editor on the current command line, and execute the result as shell commands. Bash attempts to invoke

.SM

$VISUAL,

.SM

$EDITOR,

and emacs as the editor, in that order.

Commands for Changing Text

delete-char (C-d)
Delete the character at point. If point is at the beginning of the line, there are no characters in the line, and the last character typed was not bound to delete-char, then return

.SM

EOF.

backward-delete-char (Rubout)
Delete the character behind the cursor. When given a numeric argument, save the deleted text on the kill ring.
forward-backward-delete-char
Delete the character under the cursor, unless the cursor is at the end of the line, in which case the character behind the cursor is deleted.
quoted-insert (C-q, C-v)
Add the next character typed to the line verbatim. This is how to insert characters like C-q, for example.
tab-insert (C-v TAB)
Insert a tab character.
self-insert (a,b,A,1,!,...)
Insert the character typed.
transpose-chars (C-t)
Drag the character before point forward over the character at point, moving point forward as well. If point is at the end of the line, then this transposes the two characters before point. Negative arguments have no effect.
transpose-words (M-t)
Drag the word before point past the word after point, moving point over that word as well. If point is at the end of the line, this transposes the last two words on the line.
upcase-word (M-u)
Uppercase the current (or following) word. With a negative argument, uppercase the previous word, but do not move point.
downcase-word (M-l)
Lowercase the current (or following) word. With a negative argument, lowercase the previous word, but do not move point.
capitalize-word (M-c)
Capitalize the current (or following) word. With a negative argument, capitalize the previous word, but do not move point.
overwrite-mode
Toggle overwrite mode. With an explicit positive numeric argument, switches to overwrite mode. With an explicit non-positive numeric argument, switches to insert mode. This command affects only emacs mode; vi mode does overwrite differently. Each call to readline() starts in insert mode. In overwrite mode, characters bound to self-insert replace the text at point rather than pushing the text to the right. Characters bound to backward-delete-char replace the character before point with a space. By default, this command is unbound.

Killing and Yanking

kill-line (C-k)
Kill the text from point to the end of the line.
backward-kill-line (C-x Rubout)
Kill backward to the beginning of the line.
unix-line-discard (C-u)
Kill backward from point to the beginning of the line. The killed text is saved on the kill-ring.
kill-whole-line
Kill all characters on the current line, no matter where point is.
kill-word (M-d)
Kill from point to the end of the current word, or if between words, to the end of the next word. Word boundaries are the same as those used by forward-word.
backward-kill-word (M-Rubout)
Kill the word behind point. Word boundaries are the same as those used by backward-word.
shell-kill-word (M-d)
Kill from point to the end of the current word, or if between words, to the end of the next word. Word boundaries are the same as those used by shell-forward-word.
shell-backward-kill-word (M-Rubout)
Kill the word behind point. Word boundaries are the same as those used by shell-backward-word.
unix-word-rubout (C-w)
Kill the word behind point, using white space as a word boundary. The killed text is saved on the kill-ring.
unix-filename-rubout
Kill the word behind point, using white space and the slash character as the word boundaries. The killed text is saved on the kill-ring.
delete-horizontal-space (M-e)
Delete all spaces and tabs around point.
kill-region
Kill the text in the current region.
copy-region-as-kill
Copy the text in the region to the kill buffer.
copy-backward-word
Copy the word before point to the kill buffer. The word boundaries are the same as backward-word.
copy-forward-word
Copy the word following point to the kill buffer. The word boundaries are the same as forward-word.
yank (C-y)
Yank the top of the kill ring into the buffer at point.
yank-pop (M-y)
Rotate the kill ring, and yank the new top. Only works following

yank

or

yank-pop.

Numeric Arguments

digit-argument (M-0, M-1, ..., M--)
Add this digit to the argument already accumulating, or start a new argument. M-- starts a negative argument.
universal-argument
This is another way to specify an argument. If this command is followed by one or more digits, optionally with a leading minus sign, those digits define the argument. If the command is followed by digits, executing

universal-argument

again ends the numeric argument, but is otherwise ignored. As a special case, if this command is immediately followed by a character that is neither a digit or minus sign, the argument count for the next command is multiplied by four. The argument count is initially one, so executing this function the first time makes the argument count four, a second time makes the argument count sixteen, and so on.

Completing

complete (TAB)
Attempt to perform completion on the text before point.

Bash

attempts completion treating the text as a variable (if the text begins with $), username (if the text begins with ~), hostname (if the text begins with @), or command (including aliases and functions) in turn. If none of these produces a match, filename completion is attempted.
possible-completions (M-?)
List the possible completions of the text before point.
insert-completions (M-*)
Insert all completions of the text before point that would have been generated by possible-completions.
menu-complete
Similar to complete, but replaces the word to be completed with a single match from the list of possible completions. Repeated execution of menu-complete steps through the list of possible completions, inserting each match in turn. At the end of the list of completions, the bell is rung (subject to the setting of bell-style) and the original text is restored. An argument of n moves n positions forward in the list of matches; a negative argument may be used to move backward through the list. This command is intended to be bound to TAB, but is unbound by default.
menu-complete-backward
Identical to menu-complete, but moves backward through the list of possible completions, as if menu-complete had been given a negative argument. This command is unbound by default.
delete-char-or-list
Deletes the character under the cursor if not at the beginning or end of the line (like delete-char). If at the end of the line, behaves identically to possible-completions. This command is unbound by default.
complete-filename (M-/)
Attempt filename completion on the text before point.
possible-filename-completions (C-x /)
List the possible completions of the text before point, treating it as a filename.
complete-username (M-~)
Attempt completion on the text before point, treating it as a username.
possible-username-completions (C-x ~)
List the possible completions of the text before point, treating it as a username.
complete-variable (M-$)
Attempt completion on the text before point, treating it as a shell variable.
possible-variable-completions (C-x $)
List the possible completions of the text before point, treating it as a shell variable.
complete-hostname ([email protected])
Attempt completion on the text before point, treating it as a hostname.
possible-hostname-completions (C-x @)
List the possible completions of the text before point, treating it as a hostname.
complete-command (M-!)
Attempt completion on the text before point, treating it as a command name. Command completion attempts to match the text against aliases, reserved words, shell functions, shell builtins, and finally executable filenames, in that order.
possible-command-completions (C-x !)
List the possible completions of the text before point, treating it as a command name.
dynamic-complete-history (M-TAB)
Attempt completion on the text before point, comparing the text against lines from the history list for possible completion matches.
dabbrev-expand
Attempt menu completion on the text before point, comparing the text against lines from the history list for possible completion matches.
complete-into-braces (M-{)
Perform filename completion and insert the list of possible completions enclosed within braces so the list is available to the shell (see

Brace Expansion

above).

Keyboard Macros

start-kbd-macro (C-x ()
Begin saving the characters typed into the current keyboard macro.
end-kbd-macro (C-x ))
Stop saving the characters typed into the current keyboard macro and store the definition.
call-last-kbd-macro (C-x e)
Re-execute the last keyboard macro defined, by making the characters in the macro appear as if typed at the keyboard.

Miscellaneous

re-read-init-file (C-x C-r)
Read in the contents of the inputrc file, and incorporate any bindings or variable assignments found there.
abort (C-g)
Abort the current editing command and ring the terminal's bell (subject to the setting of

bell-style).

do-uppercase-version (M-a, M-b, M-x, ...)
If the metafied character x is lowercase, run the command that is bound to the corresponding uppercase character.
prefix-meta (ESC)
Metafy the next character typed.

.SM

ESC

f

is equivalent to

Meta-f.

undo (C-_, C-x C-u)
Incremental undo, separately remembered for each line.
revert-line (M-r)
Undo all changes made to this line. This is like executing the

undo

command enough times to return the line to its initial state.
tilde-expand (M-&)
Perform tilde expansion on the current word.
set-mark ([email protected], M-)
Set the mark to the point. If a numeric argument is supplied, the mark is set to that position.
exchange-point-and-mark (C-x C-x)
Swap the point with the mark. The current cursor position is set to the saved position, and the old cursor position is saved as the mark.
character-search (C-])
A character is read and point is moved to the next occurrence of that character. A negative count searches for previous occurrences.
character-search-backward (M-C-])
A character is read and point is moved to the previous occurrence of that character. A negative count searches for subsequent occurrences.
skip-csi-sequence
Read enough characters to consume a multi-key sequence such as those defined for keys like Home and End. Such sequences begin with a Control Sequence Indicator (CSI), usually ESC-[. If this sequence is bound to "e[", keys producing such sequences will have no effect unless explicitly bound to a readline command, instead of inserting stray characters into the editing buffer. This is unbound by default, but usually bound to ESC-[.
insert-comment (M-#)
Without a numeric argument, the value of the readline

comment-begin

variable is inserted at the beginning of the current line. If a numeric argument is supplied, this command acts as a toggle: if the characters at the beginning of the line do not match the value of comment-begin, the value is inserted, otherwise the characters in comment-begin are deleted from the beginning of the line. In either case, the line is accepted as if a newline had been typed. The default value of comment-begin causes this command to make the current line a shell comment. If a numeric argument causes the comment character to be removed, the line will be executed by the shell.
glob-complete-word (M-g)
The word before point is treated as a pattern for pathname expansion, with an asterisk implicitly appended. This pattern is used to generate a list of matching file names for possible completions.
glob-expand-word (C-x *)
The word before point is treated as a pattern for pathname expansion, and the list of matching file names is inserted, replacing the word. If a numeric argument is supplied, an asterisk is appended before pathname expansion.
glob-list-expansions (C-x g)
The list of expansions that would have been generated by

glob-expand-word

is displayed, and the line is redrawn. If a numeric argument is supplied, an asterisk is appended before pathname expansion.
dump-functions
Print all of the functions and their key bindings to the readline output stream. If a numeric argument is supplied, the output is formatted in such a way that it can be made part of an inputrc file.
dump-variables
Print all of the settable readline variables and their values to the readline output stream. If a numeric argument is supplied, the output is formatted in such a way that it can be made part of an inputrc file.
dump-macros
Print all of the readline key sequences bound to macros and the strings they output. If a numeric argument is supplied, the output is formatted in such a way that it can be made part of an inputrc file.
display-shell-version (C-x C-v)
Display version information about the current instance of

bash.

Programmable Completion

When word completion is attempted for an argument to a command for which a completion specification (a compspec) has been defined using the complete builtin (see

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below), the programmable completion facilities are invoked.

First, the command name is identified. If the command word is the empty string (completion attempted at the beginning of an empty line), any compspec defined with the -E option to complete is used. If a compspec has been defined for that command, the compspec is used to generate the list of possible completions for the word. If the command word is a full pathname, a compspec for the full pathname is searched for first. If no compspec is found for the full pathname, an attempt is made to find a compspec for the portion following the final slash. If those searches do not result in a compspec, any compspec defined with the -D option to complete is used as the default.

Once a compspec has been found, it is used to generate the list of matching words. If a compspec is not found, the default bash completion as described above under Completing is performed.

First, the actions specified by the compspec are used. Only matches which are prefixed by the word being completed are returned. When the

-f

or

-d

option is used for filename or directory name completion, the shell variable

.SM

FIGNORE

is used to filter the matches.

Any completions specified by a pathname expansion pattern to the -G option are generated next. The words generated by the pattern need not match the word being completed. The

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

shell variable is not used to filter the matches, but the

.SM

FIGNORE

variable is used.

Next, the string specified as the argument to the -W option is considered. The string is first split using the characters in the

.SM

IFS

special variable as delimiters. Shell quoting is honored. Each word is then expanded using brace expansion, tilde expansion, parameter and variable expansion, command substitution, and arithmetic expansion, as described above under

.SM

EXPANSION.

The results are split using the rules described above under Word Splitting. The results of the expansion are prefix-matched against the word being completed, and the matching words become the possible completions.

After these matches have been generated, any shell function or command specified with the -F and -C options is invoked. When the command or function is invoked, the

.SM

COMP_LINE,

.SM

COMP_POINT,

.SM

COMP_KEY,

and

.SM

COMP_TYPE

variables are assigned values as described above under Shell Variables. If a shell function is being invoked, the

.SM

COMP_WORDS

and

.SM

COMP_CWORD

variables are also set. When the function or command is invoked, the first argument is the name of the command whose arguments are being completed, the second argument is the word being completed, and the third argument is the word preceding the word being completed on the current command line. No filtering of the generated completions against the word being completed is performed; the function or command has complete freedom in generating the matches.

Any function specified with -F is invoked first. The function may use any of the shell facilities, including the compgen builtin described below, to generate the matches. It must put the possible completions in the

.SM

COMPREPLY

array variable.

Next, any command specified with the -C option is invoked in an environment equivalent to command substitution. It should print a list of completions, one per line, to the standard output. Backslash may be used to escape a newline, if necessary.

After all of the possible completions are generated, any filter specified with the -X option is applied to the list. The filter is a pattern as used for pathname expansion; a & in the pattern is replaced with the text of the word being completed. A literal & may be escaped with a backslash; the backslash is removed before attempting a match. Any completion that matches the pattern will be removed from the list. A leading ! negates the pattern; in this case any completion not matching the pattern will be removed.

Finally, any prefix and suffix specified with the -P and -S options are added to each member of the completion list, and the result is returned to the readline completion code as the list of possible completions.

If the previously-applied actions do not generate any matches, and the -o dirnames option was supplied to complete when the compspec was defined, directory name completion is attempted.

If the -o plusdirs option was supplied to complete when the compspec was defined, directory name completion is attempted and any matches are added to the results of the other actions.

By default, if a compspec is found, whatever it generates is returned to the completion code as the full set of possible completions. The default bash completions are not attempted, and the readline default of filename completion is disabled. If the -o bashdefault option was supplied to complete when the compspec was defined, the bash default completions are attempted if the compspec generates no matches. If the -o default option was supplied to complete when the compspec was defined, readline's default completion will be performed if the compspec (and, if attempted, the default bash completions) generate no matches.

When a compspec indicates that directory name completion is desired, the programmable completion functions force readline to append a slash to completed names which are symbolic links to directories, subject to the value of the mark-directories readline variable, regardless of the setting of the mark-symlinked-directories readline variable.

There is some support for dynamically modifying completions. This is most useful when used in combination with a default completion specified with complete -D. It's possible for shell functions executed as completion handlers to indicate that completion should be retried by returning an exit status of 124. If a shell function returns 124, and changes the compspec associated with the command on which completion is being attempted (supplied as the first argument when the function is executed), programmable completion restarts from the beginning, with an attempt to find a new compspec for that command. This allows a set of completions to be built dynamically as completion is attempted, rather than being loaded all at once.

For instance, assuming that there is a library of compspecs, each kept in a file corresponding to the name of the command, the following default completion function would load completions dynamically:

CW_completion_loader()
{
. "/etc/bash_completion.d/$1.sh" >/dev/null 2>&1 && return 124
}
complete -D -F _completion_loader

HISTORY

When the

-o history

option to the

set

builtin is enabled, the shell provides access to the command history, the list of commands previously typed. The value of the

.SM

HISTSIZE

variable is used as the number of commands to save in a history list. The text of the last

.SM

HISTSIZE

commands (default 500) is saved. The shell stores each command in the history list prior to parameter and variable expansion (see

.SM

EXPANSION

above) but after history expansion is performed, subject to the values of the shell variables

.SM

HISTIGNORE

and

.SM

HISTCONTROL.

On startup, the history is initialized from the file named by the variable

.SM

HISTFILE

(default ~/.bash_history). The file named by the value of

.SM

HISTFILE

is truncated, if necessary, to contain no more than the number of lines specified by the value of

.SM

HISTFILESIZE.

When the history file is read, lines beginning with the history comment character followed immediately by a digit are interpreted as timestamps for the preceding history line. These timestamps are optionally displayed depending on the value of the

.SM

HISTTIMEFORMAT

variable. When an interactive shell exits, the last

.SM

$HISTSIZE

lines are copied from the history list to

.SM

$HISTFILE.

If the

histappend

shell option is enabled (see the description of

shopt

under

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

below), the lines are appended to the history file, otherwise the history file is overwritten. If

.SM

HISTFILE

is unset, or if the history file is unwritable, the history is not saved. If the

.SM

HISTTIMEFORMAT

variable is set, time stamps are written to the history file, marked with the history comment character, so they may be preserved across shell sessions. This uses the history comment character to distinguish timestamps from other history lines. After saving the history, the history file is truncated to contain no more than

.SM

HISTFILESIZE

lines. If

.SM

HISTFILESIZE

is not set, no truncation is performed.

The builtin command

fc

(see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below) may be used to list or edit and re-execute a portion of the history list. The

history

builtin may be used to display or modify the history list and manipulate the history file. When using command-line editing, search commands are available in each editing mode that provide access to the history list.

The shell allows control over which commands are saved on the history list. The

.SM

HISTCONTROL

and

.SM

HISTIGNORE

variables may be set to cause the shell to save only a subset of the commands entered. The

cmdhist

shell option, if enabled, causes the shell to attempt to save each line of a multi-line command in the same history entry, adding semicolons where necessary to preserve syntactic correctness. The

lithist

shell option causes the shell to save the command with embedded newlines instead of semicolons. See the description of the

shopt

builtin below under

.SM

"SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS"

for information on setting and unsetting shell options.

HISTORY EXPANSION

The shell supports a history expansion feature that is similar to the history expansion in

csh.

This section describes what syntax features are available. This feature is enabled by default for interactive shells, and can be disabled using the

+H

option to the

set

builtin command (see

.SM

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

below). Non-interactive shells do not perform history expansion by default.

History expansions introduce words from the history list into the input stream, making it easy to repeat commands, insert the arguments to a previous command into the current input line, or fix errors in previous commands quickly.

History expansion is performed immediately after a complete line is read, before the shell breaks it into words. It takes place in two parts. The first is to determine which line from the history list to use during substitution. The second is to select portions of that line for inclusion into the current one. The line selected from the history is the event, and the portions of that line that are acted upon are words. Various modifiers are available to manipulate the selected words. The line is broken into words in the same fashion as when reading input, so that several metacharacter-separated words surrounded by quotes are considered one word. History expansions are introduced by the appearance of the history expansion character, which is ! by default. Only backslash (e) and single quotes can quote the history expansion character.

Several characters inhibit history expansion if found immediately following the history expansion character, even if it is unquoted: space, tab, newline, carriage return, and =. If the extglob shell option is enabled, ( will also inhibit expansion.

Several shell options settable with the

shopt

builtin may be used to tailor the behavior of history expansion. If the

histverify

shell option is enabled (see the description of the

shopt

builtin below), and

readline

is being used, history substitutions are not immediately passed to the shell parser. Instead, the expanded line is reloaded into the

readline

editing buffer for further modification. If

readline

is being used, and the

histreedit

shell option is enabled, a failed history substitution will be reloaded into the

readline

editing buffer for correction. The

-p

option to the

history

builtin command may be used to see what a history expansion will do before using it. The

-s

option to the

history

builtin may be used to add commands to the end of the history list without actually executing them, so that they are available for subsequent recall.

The shell allows control of the various characters used by the history expansion mechanism (see the description of

histchars

above under

Shell Variables ).

The shell uses the history comment character to mark history timestamps when writing the history file.

Event Designators

An event designator is a reference to a command line entry in the history list. Unless the reference is absolute, events are relative to the current position in the history list.

!
Start a history substitution, except when followed by a

blank,

newline, carriage return, = or ( (when the extglob shell option is enabled using the shopt builtin).
!n
Refer to command line

n.

!-n
Refer to the current command minus

n.

!!
Refer to the previous command. This is a synonym for `!-1'.
!string
Refer to the most recent command preceding the current position in the history list starting with

string.

!?string[?]
Refer to the most recent command preceding the current postition in the history list containing

string.

The trailing ? may be omitted if

string

is followed immediately by a newline.
ds+2^s-2ustring1ds+2^s-2ustring2ds+2^s-2u
Quick substitution. Repeat the previous command, replacing

string1

with

string2.

Equivalent to ``!!:s/string1/string2/'' (see Modifiers below).
!#
The entire command line typed so far.

Word Designators

Word designators are used to select desired words from the event. A

:

separates the event specification from the word designator. It may be omitted if the word designator begins with a

^,

$,

*,

-,

or

%.

Words are numbered from the beginning of the line, with the first word being denoted by 0 (zero). Words are inserted into the current line separated by single spaces.

0 (zero)
The zeroth word. For the shell, this is the command word.
n
The nth word.
^
The first argument. That is, word 1.
$
The last argument.
%
The word matched by the most recent `?string?' search.
x-y
A range of words; `-y' abbreviates `0-y'.
*
All of the words but the zeroth. This is a synonym for `1-$'. It is not an error to use

*

if there is just one word in the event; the empty string is returned in that case.
x*
Abbreviates x-$.
x-
Abbreviates x-$ like x*, but omits the last word.

If a word designator is supplied without an event specification, the previous command is used as the event.

Modifiers

After the optional word designator, there may appear a sequence of one or more of the following modifiers, each preceded by a `:'.

h
Remove a trailing file name component, leaving only the head.
t
Remove all leading file name components, leaving the tail.
r
Remove a trailing suffix of the form .xxx, leaving the basename.
e
Remove all but the trailing suffix.
p
Print the new command but do not execute it.
q
Quote the substituted words, escaping further substitutions.
x
Quote the substituted words as with

q,

but break into words at

blanks

and newlines.
s/old/new/
Substitute

new

for the first occurrence of

old

in the event line. Any delimiter can be used in place of /. The final delimiter is optional if it is the last character of the event line. The delimiter may be quoted in

old

and

new

with a single backslash. If & appears in

new,

it is replaced by

old.

A single backslash will quote the &. If

old

is null, it is set to the last

old

substituted, or, if no previous history substitutions took place, the last

string

in a

!?string[?]

search.
&
Repeat the previous substitution.
g
Cause changes to be applied over the entire event line. This is used in conjunction with `:s' (e.g., `:gs/old/new/') or `:&'. If used with `:s', any delimiter can be used in place of /, and the final delimiter is optional if it is the last character of the event line. An a may be used as a synonym for g.
G
Apply the following `s' modifier once to each word in the event line.

SHELL BUILTIN COMMANDS

.zZ

Unless otherwise noted, each builtin command documented in this section as accepting options preceded by

-

accepts

--

to signify the end of the options. The :, true, false, and test builtins do not accept options and do not treat -- specially. The exit, logout, break, continue, let, and shift builtins accept and process arguments beginning with - without requiring --. Other builtins that accept arguments but are not specified as accepting options interpret arguments beginning with - as invalid options and require -- to prevent this interpretation.

.sp .5

: [arguments]
No effect; the command does nothing beyond expanding

arguments

and performing any specified redirections. A zero exit code is returned.
filename [arguments]
source filename [arguments]
Read and execute commands from

filename

in the current shell environment and return the exit status of the last command executed from

filename.

If

filename

does not contain a slash, file names in

.SM

PATH

are used to find the directory containing

filename.

The file searched for in

.SM

PATH

need not be executable. When bash is not in posix mode, the current directory is searched if no file is found in

.SM

PATH.

If the

sourcepath

option to the

shopt

builtin command is turned off, the

.SM

PATH

is not searched. If any arguments are supplied, they become the positional parameters when filename is executed. Otherwise the positional parameters are unchanged. The return status is the status of the last command exited within the script (0 if no commands are executed), and false if

filename

is not found or cannot be read.
alias [-p] [name[=value] ...]
Alias with no arguments or with the

-p

option prints the list of aliases in the form alias name=value on standard output. When arguments are supplied, an alias is defined for each name whose value is given. A trailing space in value causes the next word to be checked for alias substitution when the alias is expanded. For each name in the argument list for which no value is supplied, the name and value of the alias is printed. Alias returns true unless a name is given for which no alias has been defined.
bg [jobspec ...]
Resume each suspended job jobspec in the background, as if it had been started with

&.

If

jobspec

is not present, the shell's notion of the current job is used.

bg

jobspec

returns 0 unless run when job control is disabled or, when run with job control enabled, any specified jobspec was not found or was started without job control.
bind [-m keymap] [-lpsvPSV]
bind [-m keymap] [-q function] [-u function] [-r keyseq]
bind [-m keymap] -f filename
bind [-m keymap] -x keyseq:shell-command
bind [-m keymap] keyseq:function-name
bind readline-command
Display current

readline

key and function bindings, bind a key sequence to a

readline

function or macro, or set a

readline

variable. Each non-option argument is a command as it would appear in

.inputrc,

but each binding or command must be passed as a separate argument; e.g., '"eC-xeC-r": re-read-init-file'. Options, if supplied, have the following meanings:
-m keymap
Use

keymap

as the keymap to be affected by the subsequent bindings. Acceptable

keymap

names are emacs, emacs-standard, emacs-meta, emacs-ctlx, vi, vi-move, vi-command, and

vi-insert.

vi is equivalent to vi-command; emacs is equivalent to emacs-standard.
-l
List the names of all readline functions.
-p
Display readline function names and bindings in such a way that they can be re-read.
-P
List current readline function names and bindings.
-s
Display readline key sequences bound to macros and the strings they output in such a way that they can be re-read.
-S
Display readline key sequences bound to macros and the strings they output.
-v
Display readline variable names and values in such a way that they can be re-read.
-V
List current readline variable names and values.
-f filename
Read key bindings from filename.
-q function
Query about which keys invoke the named function.
-u function
Unbind all keys bound to the named function.
-r keyseq
Remove any current binding for keyseq.
-x keyseq:shell-command
Cause shell-command to be executed whenever keyseq is entered. When shell-command is executed, the shell sets the

.SM

READLINE_LINE

variable to the contents of the readline line buffer and the

.SM

READLINE_POINT

variable to the current location of the insertion point. If the executed command changes the value of

.SM

READLINE_LINE

or

.SM

READLINE_POINT,

those new values will be reflected in the editing state.

The return value is 0 unless an unrecognized option is given or an error occurred.

break [n]
Exit from within a

for,

while,

until,

or

select

loop. If n is specified, break n levels.

n

must be >= 1. If

n

is greater than the number of enclosing loops, all enclosing loops are exited. The return value is 0 unless n is not greater than or equal to 1.
builtin shell-builtin [arguments]
Execute the specified shell builtin, passing it

arguments,

and return its exit status. This is useful when defining a function whose name is the same as a shell builtin, retaining the functionality of the builtin within the function. The cd builtin is commonly redefined this way. The return status is false if

shell-builtin

is not a shell builtin command.
caller [expr]
Returns the context of any active subroutine call (a shell function or a script executed with the . or source builtins). Without expr, caller displays the line number and source filename of the current subroutine call. If a non-negative integer is supplied as expr, caller displays the line number, subroutine name, and source file corresponding to that position in the current execution call stack. This extra information may be used, for example, to print a stack trace. The current frame is frame 0. The return value is 0 unless the shell is not executing a subroutine call or expr does not correspond to a valid position in the call stack.
cd [-L|[-P [-e]]] [dir]
Change the current directory to dir. The variable

.SM

HOME

is the default

dir.

The variable

.SM

CDPATH

defines the search path for the directory containing

dir.

Alternative directory names in

.SM

CDPATH

are separated by a colon (:). A null directory name in

.SM

CDPATH

is the same as the current directory, i.e., ``.''. If

dir

begins with a slash (/), then

.SM

CDPATH

is not used. The

-P

option says to use the physical directory structure instead of following symbolic links (see also the

-P

option to the

set

builtin command); the

-L

option forces symbolic links to be followed. If the

-e

option is supplied with

-P,

and the current working directory cannot be successfully determined after a successful directory change, cd will return an unsuccessful status. An argument of

-

is equivalent to

.SM

$OLDPWD.

If a non-empty directory name from

.SM

CDPATH

is used, or if - is the first argument, and the directory change is successful, the absolute pathname of the new working directory is written to the standard output. The return value is true if the directory was successfully changed; false otherwise.
command [-pVv] command [arg ...]
Run

command

with

args

suppressing the normal shell function lookup. Only builtin commands or commands found in the

.SM

PATH

are executed. If the

-p

option is given, the search for

command

is performed using a default value for

.SM

PATH

that is guaranteed to find all of the standard utilities. If either the

-V

or

-v

option is supplied, a description of

command

is printed. The

-v

option causes a single word indicating the command or file name used to invoke

command

to be displayed; the

-V

option produces a more verbose description. If the

-V

or

-v

option is supplied, the exit status is 0 if

command

was found, and 1 if not. If neither option is supplied and an error occurred or

command

cannot be found, the exit status is 127. Otherwise, the exit status of the

command

builtin is the exit status of

command.

compgen [option] [word]
Generate possible completion matches for word according to the options, which may be any option accepted by the

complete

builtin with the exception of -p and -r, and write the matches to the standard output. When using the -F or -C options, the various shell variables set by the programmable completion facilities, while available, will not have useful values.

.sp 1

The matches will be generated in the same way as if the programmable completion code had generated them directly from a completion specification with the same flags. If word is specified, only those completions matching word will be displayed.

.sp 1

The return value is true unless an invalid option is supplied, or no matches were generated.
complete [-abcdefgjksuv] [-o comp-option] [-DE] [-A action] [-G globpat] [-W wordlist] [-F function] [-C command]

[-X filterpat] [-P prefix] [-S suffix] name [name ...]
complete -pr [-DE] [name ...]
Specify how arguments to each name should be completed. If the -p option is supplied, or if no options are supplied, existing completion specifications are printed in a way that allows them to be reused as input. The -r option removes a completion specification for each name, or, if no names are supplied, all completion specifications. The -D option indicates that the remaining options and actions should apply to the ``default'' command completion; that is, completion attempted on a command for which no completion has previously been defined. The -E option indicates that the remaining options and actions should apply to ``empty'' command completion; that is, completion attempted on a blank line.

.sp 1

The process of applying these completion specifications when word completion is attempted is described above under Programmable Completion.

.sp 1

Other options, if specified, have the following meanings. The arguments to the -G, -W, and -X options (and, if necessary, the -P and -S options) should be quoted to protect them from expansion before the

complete

builtin is invoked.
-o comp-option
The comp-option controls several aspects of the compspec's behavior beyond the simple generation of completions. comp-option may be one of:
bashdefault
Perform the rest of the default bash completions if the compspec generates no matches.
default
Use readline's default filename completion if the compspec generates no matches.
dirnames
Perform directory name completion if the compspec generates no matches.
filenames
Tell readline that the compspec generates filenames, so it can perform any filename-specific processing (like adding a slash to directory names, quoting special characters, or suppressing trailing spaces). Intended to be used with shell functions.
nospace
Tell readline not to append a space (the default) to words completed at the end of the line.
plusdirs
After any matches defined by the compspec are generated, directory name completion is attempted and any matches are added to the results of the other actions.
-A action
The action may be one of the following to generate a list of possible completions:
alias
Alias names. May also be specified as -a.
arrayvar
Array variable names.
binding
Readline key binding names.
builtin
Names of shell builtin commands. May also be specified as -b.
command
Command names. May also be specified as -c.
directory
Directory names. May also be specified as -d.
disabled
Names of disabled shell builtins.
enabled
Names of enabled shell builtins.
export
Names of exported shell variables. May also be specified as -e.
file
File names. May also be specified as -f.
function
Names of shell functions.
group
Group names. May also be specified as -g.
helptopic
Help topics as accepted by the help builtin.
hostname
Hostnames, as taken from the file specified by the

.SM

HOSTFILE

shell variable.
job
Job names, if job control is active. May also be specified as -j.
keyword
Shell reserved words. May also be specified as -k.
running
Names of running jobs, if job control is active.
service
Service names. May also be specified as -s.
setopt
Valid arguments for the -o option to the set builtin.
shopt
Shell option names as accepted by the shopt builtin.
signal
Signal names.
stopped
Names of stopped jobs, if job control is active.
user
User names. May also be specified as -u.
variable
Names of all shell variables. May also be specified as -v.
-C command
command is executed in a subshell environment, and its output is used as the possible completions.
-F function
The shell function function is executed in the current shell environment. When it finishes, the possible completions are retrieved from the value of the

.SM

COMPREPLY

array variable.
-G globpat
The pathname expansion pattern globpat is expanded to generate the possible completions.
-P prefix
prefix is added at the beginning of each possible completion after all other options have been applied.
-S suffix
suffix is appended to each possible completion after all other options have been applied.
-W wordlist
The wordlist is split using the characters in the

.SM

IFS

special variable as delimiters, and each resultant word is expanded. The possible completions are the members of the resultant list which match the word being completed.
-X filterpat
filterpat is a pattern as used for pathname expansion. It is applied to the list of possible completions generated by the preceding options and arguments, and each completion matching filterpat is removed from the list. A leading ! in filterpat negates the pattern; in this case, any completion not matching filterpat is removed.

The return value is true unless an invalid option is supplied, an option other than -p or -r is supplied without a name argument, an attempt is made to remove a completion specification for a name for which no specification exists, or an error occurs adding a completion specification.

compopt [-o option] [-DE] [+o option] [name]
Modify completion options for each name according to the options, or for the currently-executing completion if no names are supplied. If no options are given, display the completion options for each name or the current completion. The possible values of option are those valid for the complete builtin described above. The -D option indicates that the remaining options should apply to the ``default'' command completion; that is, completion attempted on a command for which no completion has previously been defined. The -E option indicates that the remaining options should apply to ``empty'' command completion; that is, completion attempted on a blank line.

.sp 1

The return value is true unless an invalid option is supplied, an attempt is made to modify the options for a name for which no completion specification exists, or an output error occurs.
continue [n]
Resume the next iteration of the enclosing

for,

while,

until,

or

select

loop. If

n

is specified, resume at the nth enclosing loop.

n

must be >= 1. If

n

is greater than the number of enclosing loops, the last enclosing loop (the ``top-level'' loop) is resumed. The return value is 0 unless n is not greater than or equal to 1.
declare [-aAfFgilrtux] [-p] [name[=value] ...]
typeset [-aAfFgilrtux] [-p] [name[=value] ...]
Declare variables and/or give them attributes. If no names are given then display the values of variables. The

-p

option will display the attributes and values of each

name.

When

-p

is used with name arguments, additional options are ignored. When

-p

is supplied without name arguments, it will display the attributes and values of all variables having the attributes specified by the additional options. If no other options are supplied with -p, declare will display the attributes and values of all shell variables. The -f option will restrict the display to shell functions. The

-F

option inhibits the display of function definitions; only the function name and attributes are printed. If the extdebug shell option is enabled using shopt, the source file name and line number where the function is defined are displayed as well. The

-F

option implies

-f.

The

-g

option forces variables to be created or modified at the global scope, even when declare is executed in a shell function. It is ignored in all other cases. The following options can be used to restrict output to variables with the specified attribute or to give variables attributes:
-a
Each name is an indexed array variable (see

Arrays

above).
-A
Each name is an associative array variable (see

Arrays

above).
-f
Use function names only.
-i
The variable is treated as an integer; arithmetic evaluation (see

.SM

"ARITHMETIC EVALUATION"

above) is performed when the variable is assigned a value.
-l
When the variable is assigned a value, all upper-case characters are converted to lower-case. The upper-case attribute is disabled.
-r
Make names readonly. These names cannot then be assigned values by subsequent assignment statements or unset.
-t
Give each name the trace attribute. Traced functions inherit the DEBUG and RETURN traps from the calling shell. The trace attribute has no special meaning for variables.
-u
When the variable is assigned a value, all lower-case characters are converted to upper-case. The lower-case attribute is disabled.
-x
Mark names for export to subsequent commands via the environment.

Using `+' instead of `-' turns off the attribute instead, with the exceptions that +a may not be used to destroy an array variable and +r will not remove the readonly attribute. When used in a function, makes each name local, as with the

local

command, unless the -g option is supplied, If a variable name is followed by =value, the value of the variable is set to value. The return value is 0 unless an invalid option is encountered, an attempt is made to define a function using ``-f foo=bar'', an attempt is made to assign a value to a readonly variable, an attempt is made to assign a value to an array variable without using the compound assignment syntax (see

Arrays

above), one of the names is not a valid shell variable name, an attempt is made to turn off readonly status for a readonly variable, an attempt is made to turn off array status for an array variable, or an attempt is made to display a non-existent function with -f.

dirs [+n] [-n] [-clpv]
Without options, displays the list of currently remembered directories. The default display is on a single line with directory names separated by spaces. Directories are added to the list with the

pushd

command; the

popd

command removes entries from the list.
+n
Displays the nth entry counting from the left of the list shown by

dirs

when invoked without options, starting with zero.
-n
Displays the nth entry counting from the right of the list shown by

dirs

when invoked without options, starting with zero.
-c
Clears the directory stack by deleting all of the entries.
-l
Produces a longer listing; the default listing format uses a tilde to denote the home directory.
-p
Print the directory stack with one entry per line.
-v
Print the directory stack with one entry per line, prefixing each entry with its index in the stack.

The return value is 0 unless an invalid option is supplied or n indexes beyond the end of the directory stack.

disown [-ar] [-h] [jobspec ...]
Without options, each

jobspec

is removed from the table of active jobs. If

jobspec

is not present, and neither -a nor -r is supplied, the shell's notion of the current job is used. If the -h option is given, each

jobspec

is not removed from the table, but is marked so that

.SM

SIGHUP

is not sent to the job if the shell receives a

.SM

SIGHUP.

If no

jobspec

is present, and neither the

-a

nor the

-r

option is supplied, the current job is used. If no

jobspec

is supplied, the

-a

option means to remove or mark all jobs; the

-r

option without a

jobspec

argument restricts operation to running jobs. The return value is 0 unless a

jobspec

does not specify a valid job.
echo [-neE] [arg ...]
Output the args, separated by spaces, followed by a newline. The return status is always 0. If -n is specified, the trailing newline is suppressed. If the -e option is given, interpretation of the following backslash-escaped characters is enabled. The

-E

option disables the interpretation of these escape characters, even on systems where they are interpreted by default. The xpg_echo shell option may be used to dynamically determine whether or not echo expands these escape characters by default.

echo

does not interpret -- to mean the end of options.

echo

interprets the following escape sequences:
ea
alert (bell)
eb
backspace
ec
suppress further output
ee
eE
an escape character
ef
form feed
en
new line
er
carriage return
et
horizontal tab
ev
vertical tab
ee
backslash
e0nnn
the eight-bit character whose value is the octal value nnn (zero to three octal digits)
exHH
the eight-bit character whose value is the hexadecimal value HH (one or two hex digits)
euHHHH
the Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) character whose value is the hexadecimal value HHHH (one to four hex digits)
eUHHHHHHHH
the Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) character whose value is the hexadecimal value HHHHHHHH (one to eight hex digits)
enable [-a] [-dnps] [-f filename] [name ...]
Enable and disable builtin shell commands. Disabling a builtin allows a disk command which has the same name as a shell builtin to be executed without specifying a full pathname, even though the shell normally searches for builtins before disk commands. If -n is used, each name is disabled; otherwise, names are enabled. For example, to use the

test

binary found via the

.SM

PATH

instead of the shell builtin version, run ``enable -n test''. The

-f

option means to load the new builtin command

name

from shared object

filename,

on systems that support dynamic loading. The

-d

option will delete a builtin previously loaded with

-f.

If no name arguments are given, or if the

-p

option is supplied, a list of shell builtins is printed. With no other option arguments, the list consists of all enabled shell builtins. If -n is supplied, only disabled builtins are printed. If -a is supplied, the list printed includes all builtins, with an indication of whether or not each is enabled. If -s is supplied, the output is restricted to the POSIX special builtins. The return value is 0 unless a

name

is not a shell builtin or there is an error loading a new builtin from a shared object.
eval [arg ...]
The args are read and concatenated together into a single command. This command is then read and executed by the shell, and its exit status is returned as the value of

eval.

If there are no

args,

or only null arguments,

eval

returns 0.
exec [-cl] [-a name] [command [arguments]]
If

command

is specified, it replaces the shell. No new process is created. The

arguments

become the arguments to command. If the

-l

option is supplied, the shell places a dash at the beginning of the zeroth argument passed to

command.

This is what

login(1)

does. The

-c

option causes

command

to be executed with an empty environment. If

-a

is supplied, the shell passes

name

as the zeroth argument to the executed command. If

command

cannot be executed for some reason, a non-interactive shell exits, unless the shell option

execfail

is enabled, in which case it returns failure. An interactive shell returns failure if the file cannot be executed. If

command

is not specified, any redirections take effect in the current shell, and the return status is 0. If there is a redirection error, the return status is 1.
exit [n]
Cause the shell to exit with a status of n. If

n

is omitted, the exit status is that of the last command executed. A trap on

.SM

EXIT

is executed before the shell terminates.
export [-fn] [name[=word]] ...
export -p
The supplied

names

are marked for automatic export to the environment of subsequently executed commands. If the

-f

option is given, the

names

refer to functions. If no

names

are given, or if the

-p

option is supplied, a list of all names that are exported in this shell is printed. The

-n

option causes the export property to be removed from each name. If a variable name is followed by =word, the value of the variable is set to word.

export

returns an exit status of 0 unless an invalid option is encountered, one of the names is not a valid shell variable name, or

-f

is supplied with a

name

that is not a function.
fc [-e ename] [-lnr] [first] [last]
fc -s [pat=rep] [cmd]
Fix Command. In the first form, a range of commands from

first

to

last

is selected from the history list.

First

and

last

may be specified as a string (to locate the last command beginning with that string) or as a number (an index into the history list, where a negative number is used as an offset from the current command number). If

last

is not specified it is set to the current command for listing (so that ``fc -l -10'' prints the last 10 commands) and to

first

otherwise. If

first

is not specified it is set to the previous command for editing and -16 for listing.

.sp 1

The

-n

option suppresses the command numbers when listing. The

-r

option reverses the order of the commands. If the

-l

option is given, the commands are listed on standard output. Otherwise, the editor given by

ename

is invoked on a file containing those commands. If

ename

is not given, the value of the

.SM

FCEDIT

variable is used, and the value of

.SM

EDITOR

if

.SM

FCEDIT

is not set. If neither variable is set,

.FN vi

is used. When editing is complete, the edited commands are echoed and executed.

.sp 1

In the second form, command is re-executed after each instance of pat is replaced by rep. A useful alias to use with this is ``r="fc -s"'', so that typing ``r cc'' runs the last command beginning with ``cc'' and typing ``r'' re-executes the last command.

.sp 1

If the first form is used, the return value is 0 unless an invalid option is encountered or

first

or

last

specify history lines out of range. If the

-e

option is supplied, the return value is the value of the last command executed or failure if an error occurs with the temporary file of commands. If the second form is used, the return status is that of the command re-executed, unless

cmd

does not specify a valid history line, in which case

fc

returns failure.
fg [jobspec]
Resume

jobspec

in the foreground, and make it the current job. If

jobspec

is not present, the shell's notion of the current job is used. The return value is that of the command placed into the foreground, or failure if run when job control is disabled or, when run with job control enabled, if

jobspec

does not specify a valid job or

jobspec

specifies a job that was started without job control.
getopts optstring name [args]

getopts

is used by shell procedures to parse positional parameters.

optstring

contains the option characters to be recognized; if a character is followed by a colon, the option is expected to have an argument, which should be separated from it by white space. The colon and question mark characters may not be used as option characters. Each time it is invoked,

getopts

places the next option in the shell variable

name,

initializing

name

if it does not exist, and the index of the next argument to be processed into the variable

.SM

OPTIND.

.SM

OPTIND

is initialized to 1 each time the shell or a shell script is invoked. When an option requires an argument,

getopts

places that argument into the variable

.SM

OPTARG.

The shell does not reset

.SM

OPTIND

automatically; it must be manually reset between multiple calls to

getopts

within the same shell invocation if a new set of parameters is to be used.

.sp 1

When the end of options is encountered, getopts exits with a return value greater than zero.

.SM

OPTIND

is set to the index of the first non-option argument, and name is set to ?.

.sp 1

getopts

normally parses the positional parameters, but if more arguments are given in

args,

getopts

parses those instead.

.sp 1

getopts

can report errors in two ways. If the first character of

optstring

is a colon,

silent

error reporting is used. In normal operation diagnostic messages are printed when invalid options or missing option arguments are encountered. If the variable

.SM

OPTERR

is set to 0, no error messages will be displayed, even if the first character of

optstring

is not a colon.

.sp 1

If an invalid option is seen,

getopts

places ? into

name

and, if not silent, prints an error message and unsets

.SM

OPTARG.

If

getopts

is silent, the option character found is placed in

.SM

OPTARG

and no diagnostic message is printed.

.sp 1

If a required argument is not found, and

getopts

is not silent, a question mark (?) is placed in

name,

.SM

OPTARG

is unset, and a diagnostic message is printed. If

getopts

is silent, then a colon (:) is placed in

name

and

.SM

OPTARG

is set to the option character found.

.sp 1

getopts

returns true if an option, specified or unspecified, is found. It returns false if the end of options is encountered or an error occurs.
hash [-lr] [-p filename] [-dt] [name]
Each time hash is invoked, the full pathname of the command

name

is determined by searching the directories in

$PATH

and remembered. Any previously-remembered pathname is discarded. If the

-p

option is supplied, no path search is performed, and

filename

is used as the full file name of the command. The

-r

option causes the shell to forget all remembered locations. The

-d

option causes the shell to forget the remembered location of each name. If the

-t

option is supplied, the full pathname to which each name corresponds is printed. If multiple name arguments are supplied with -t, the name is printed before the hashed full pathname. The

-l

option causes output to be displayed in a format that may be reused as input. If no arguments are given, or if only -l is supplied, information about remembered commands is printed. The return status is true unless a

name

is not found or an invalid option is supplied.
help [-dms] [pattern]
Display helpful information about builtin commands. If

pattern

is specified,

help

gives detailed help on all commands matching

pattern;

otherwise help for all the builtins and shell control structures is printed.
-d
Display a short description of each pattern
-m
Display the description of each pattern in a manpage-like format
-s
Display only a short usage synopsis for each pattern

The return status is 0 unless no command matches

pattern.

history [n]
history -c
history -d offset
history -anrw [filename]
history -p arg [arg ...]
history -s arg [arg ...]
With no options, display the command history list with line numbers. Lines listed with a

*

have been modified. An argument of

n

lists only the last

n

lines. If the shell variable

.SM

HISTTIMEFORMAT

is set and not null, it is used as a format string for strftime(3) to display the time stamp associated with each displayed history entry. No intervening blank is printed between the formatted time stamp and the history line. If filename is supplied, it is used as the name of the history file; if not, the value of

.SM

HISTFILE

is used. Options, if supplied, have the following meanings:
-c
Clear the history list by deleting all the entries.
-d offset
Delete the history entry at position offset.
-a
Append the ``new'' history lines (history lines entered since the beginning of the current bash session) to the history file.
-n
Read the history lines not already read from the history file into the current history list. These are lines appended to the history file since the beginning of the current bash session.
-r
Read the contents of the history file and use them as the current history.
-w
Write the current history to the history file, overwriting the history file's contents.
-p
Perform history substitution on the following args and display the result on the standard output. Does not store the results in the history list. Each arg must be quoted to disable normal history expansion.
-s
Store the

args

in the history list as a single entry. The last command in the history list is removed before the

args

are added.

If the

.SM

HISTTIMEFORMAT

variable is set, the time stamp information associated with each history entry is written to the history file, marked with the history comment character. When the history file is read, lines beginning with the history comment character followed immediately by a digit are interpreted as timestamps for the previous history line. The return value is 0 unless an invalid option is encountered, an error occurs while reading or writing the history file, an invalid offset is supplied as an argument to -d, or the history expansion supplied as an argument to -p fails.

jobs [-lnprs] [ jobspec ... ]
jobs -x command [ args ... ]
The first form lists the active jobs. The options have the following meanings:
-l
List process IDs in addition to the normal information.
-n
Display information only about jobs that have changed status since the user was last notified of their status.
-p
List only the process ID of the job's process group leader.
-r
Restrict output to running jobs.
-s
Restrict output to stopped jobs.

If

jobspec

is given, output is restricted to information about that job. The return status is 0 unless an invalid option is encountered or an invalid

jobspec

is supplied.

If the

-x

option is supplied,

jobs

replaces any

jobspec

found in

command

or

args

with the corresponding process group ID, and executes

command

passing it

args,

returning its exit status.

kill [-s sigspec | -n signum | -sigspec] [pid | jobspec] ...
kill -l [sigspec | exit_status]
Send the signal named by

sigspec

or

signum

to the processes named by

pid

or

jobspec.

sigspec

is either a case-insensitive signal name such as

.SM

SIGKILL

(with or without the

.SM

SIG

prefix) or a signal number;

signum

is a signal number. If

sigspec

is not present, then

.SM

SIGTERM

is assumed. An argument of

-l

lists the signal names. If any arguments are supplied when

-l

is given, the names of the signals corresponding to the arguments are listed, and the return status is 0. The exit_status argument to

-l

is a number specifying either a signal number or the exit status of a process terminated by a signal.

kill

returns true if at least one signal was successfully sent, or false if an error occurs or an invalid option is encountered.
let arg [arg ...]
Each

arg

is an arithmetic expression to be evaluated (see

.SM

"ARITHMETIC EVALUATION"

above). If the last

arg

evaluates to 0,

let

returns 1; 0 is returned otherwise.
local [option] [name[=value] ...]
For each argument, a local variable named

name

is created, and assigned

value.

The option can be any of the options accepted by declare. When

local

is used within a function, it causes the variable

name

to have a visible scope restricted to that function and its children. With no operands,

local

writes a list of local variables to the standard output. It is an error to use

local

when not within a function. The return status is 0 unless

local

is used outside a function, an invalid

name

is supplied, or name is a readonly variable.
logout
Exit a login shell.
mapfile [-n count] [-O origin] [-s count] [-t] [-u fd] [-C callback] [-c quantum] [array]
readarray [-n count] [-O origin] [-s count] [-t] [-u fd] [-C callback] [-c quantum] [array]
Read lines from the standard input into the indexed array variable

array,

or from file descriptor

fd

if the

-u

option is supplied. The variable

.SM

MAPFILE

is the default array. Options, if supplied, have the following meanings:
-n
Copy at most

count

lines. If count is 0, all lines are copied.
-O
Begin assigning to

array

at index

origin.

The default index is 0.
-s
Discard the first count lines read.
-t
Remove a trailing newline from each line read.
-u
Read lines from file descriptor fd instead of the standard input.
-C
Evaluate

callback

each time quantum lines are read. The -c option specifies

quantum.

-c
Specify the number of lines read between each call to

callback.

If

-C

is specified without

-c,

the default quantum is 5000. When callback is evaluated, it is supplied the index of the next array element to be assigned and the line to be assigned to that element as additional arguments. callback is evaluated after the line is read but before the array element is assigned.

If not supplied with an explicit origin, mapfile will clear array before assigning to it.

mapfile returns successfully unless an invalid option or option argument is supplied, array is invalid or unassignable, or if array is not an indexed array.

popd [-n] [+n] [-n]
Removes entries from the directory stack. With no arguments, removes the top directory from the stack, and performs a

cd

to the new top directory. Arguments, if supplied, have the following meanings:
-n
Suppresses the normal change of directory when removing directories from the stack, so that only the stack is manipulated.
+n
Removes the nth entry counting from the left of the list shown by

dirs,

starting with zero. For example: ``popd +0'' removes the first directory, ``popd +1'' the second.
-n
Removes the nth entry counting from the right of the list shown by

dirs,

starting with zero. For example: ``popd -0'' removes the last directory, ``popd -1'' the next to last.

If the

popd

command is successful, a

dirs

is performed as well, and the return status is 0.

popd

returns false if an invalid option is encountered, the directory stack is empty, a non-existent directory stack entry is specified, or the directory change fails.

printf [-v var] format [arguments]
Write the formatted arguments to the standard output under the control of the format. The -v option causes the output to be assigned to the variable var rather than being printed to the standard output.

.sp 1

The format is a character string which contains three types of objects: plain characters, which are simply copied to standard output, character escape sequences, which are converted and copied to the standard output, and format specifications, each of which causes printing of the next successive argument. In addition to the standard printf(1) format specifications, printf interprets the following extensions:
%b
causes printf to expand backslash escape sequences in the corresponding argument (except that ec terminates output, backslashes in eaq, e", and e? are not removed, and octal escapes beginning with e0 may contain up to four digits).
%q
causes printf to output the corresponding argument in a format that can be reused as shell input.
%(datefmt)T
causes printf to output the date-time string resulting from using datefmt as a format string for strftime(3). The corresponding argument is an integer representing the number of seconds since the epoch. Two special argument values may be used: -1 represents the current time, and -2 represents the time the shell was invoked.

Arguments to non-string format specifiers are treated as C constants, except that a leading plus or minus sign is allowed, and if the leading character is a single or double quote, the value is the ASCII value of the following character.

The format is reused as necessary to consume all of the arguments. If the format requires more arguments than are supplied, the extra format specifications behave as if a zero value or null string, as appropriate, had been supplied. The return value is zero on success, non-zero on failure.

pushd [-n] [+n] [-n]
pushd [-n] [dir]
Adds a directory to the top of the directory stack, or rotates the stack, making the new top of the stack the current working directory. With no arguments, exchanges the top two directories and returns 0, unless the directory stack is empty. Arguments, if supplied, have the following meanings:
-n
Suppresses the normal change of directory when adding directories to the stack, so that only the stack is manipulated.
+n
Rotates the stack so that the nth directory (counting from the left of the list shown by

dirs,

starting with zero) is at the top.
-n
Rotates the stack so that the nth directory (counting from the right of the list shown by

dirs,

starting with zero) is at the top.
dir
Adds

dir

to the directory stack at the top, making it the new current working directory.

If the

pushd

command is successful, a

dirs

is performed as well. If the first form is used,

pushd

returns 0 unless the cd to

dir

fails. With the second form,

pushd

returns 0 unless the directory stack is empty, a non-existent directory stack element is specified, or the directory change to the specified new current directory fails.

pwd [-LP]
Print the absolute pathname of the current working directory. The pathname printed contains no symbolic links if the

-P

option is supplied or the

-o physical

option to the

set

builtin command is enabled. If the

-L

option is used, the pathname printed may contain symbolic links. The return status is 0 unless an error occurs while reading the name of the current directory or an invalid option is supplied.
read [-ers] [-a aname] [-d delim] [-i text] [-n nchars] [-N nchars] [-p prompt] [-t timeout] [-u fd] [name ...]
One line is read from the standard input, or from the file descriptor fd supplied as an argument to the -u option, and the first word is assigned to the first

name,

the second word to the second

name,

and so on, with leftover words and their intervening separators assigned to the last

name.

If there are fewer words read from the input stream than names, the remaining names are assigned empty values. The characters in

.SM

IFS

are used to split the line into words. The backslash character (e) may be used to remove any special meaning for the next character read and for line continuation. Options, if supplied, have the following meanings:
-a aname
The words are assigned to sequential indices of the array variable

aname,

starting at 0.

aname

is unset before any new values are assigned. Other name arguments are ignored.
-d delim
The first character of delim is used to terminate the input line, rather than newline.
-e
If the standard input is coming from a terminal,

readline

(see

.SM

READLINE

above) is used to obtain the line. Readline uses the current (or default, if line editing was not previously active) editing settings.
-i text
If

readline

is being used to read the line, text is placed into the editing buffer before editing begins.
-n nchars
read returns after reading nchars characters rather than waiting for a complete line of input, but honor a delimiter if fewer than nchars characters are read before the delimiter.
-N nchars
read returns after reading exactly nchars characters rather than waiting for a complete line of input, unless EOF is encountered or read times out. Delimiter characters encountered in the input are not treated specially and do not cause read to return until nchars characters are read.
-p prompt
Display prompt on standard error, without a trailing newline, before attempting to read any input. The prompt is displayed only if input is coming from a terminal.
-r
Backslash does not act as an escape character. The backslash is considered to be part of the line. In particular, a backslash-newline pair may not be used as a line continuation.
-s
Silent mode. If input is coming from a terminal, characters are not echoed.
-t timeout
Cause read to time out and return failure if a complete line of input is not read within timeout seconds. timeout may be a decimal number with a fractional portion following the decimal point. This option is only effective if read is reading input from a terminal, pipe, or other special file; it has no effect when reading from regular files. If timeout is 0, read returns success if input is available on the specified file descriptor, failure otherwise. The exit status is greater than 128 if the timeout is exceeded.
-u fd
Read input from file descriptor fd.

If no

names

are supplied, the line read is assigned to the variable

.SM

REPLY.

The return code is zero, unless end-of-file is encountered, read times out (in which case the return code is greater than 128), or an invalid file descriptor is supplied as the argument to -u.

readonly [-aAf] [-p] [name[=word] ...]
The given names are marked readonly; the values of these

names

may not be changed by subsequent assignment. If the

-f

option is supplied, the functions corresponding to the names are so marked. The

-a

option restricts the variables to indexed arrays; the

-A

option restricts the variables to associative arrays. If both options are supplied,

-A

takes precedence. If no

name

arguments are given, or if the

-p

option is supplied, a list of all readonly names is printed. The other options may be used to restrict the output to a subset of the set of readonly names. The

-p

option causes output to be displayed in a format that may be reused as input. If a variable name is followed by =word, the value of the variable is set to word. The return status is 0 unless an invalid option is encountered, one of the

names

is not a valid shell variable name, or

-f

is supplied with a

name

that is not a function.
return [n]
Causes a function to exit with the return value specified by

n.

If

n

is omitted, the return status is that of the last command executed in the function body. If used outside a function, but during execution of a script by the

.

(source) command, it causes the shell to stop executing that script and return either

n

or the exit status of the last command executed within the script as the exit status of the script. If used outside a function and not during execution of a script by ., the return status is false. Any command associated with the RETURN trap is executed before execution resumes after the function or script.
set [--abefhkmnptuvxBCEHPT] [-o option-name] [arg ...]
set [+abefhkmnptuvxBCEHPT] [+o option-name] [arg ...]
Without options, the name and value of each shell variable are displayed in a format that can be reused as input for setting or resetting the currently-set variables. Read-only variables cannot be reset. In posix mode, only shell variables are listed. The output is sorted according to the current locale. When options are specified, they set or unset shell attributes. Any arguments remaining after option processing are treated as values for the positional parameters and are assigned, in order, to

$1,

$2,

...

$n.

Options, if specified, have the following meanings:
-a
Automatically mark variables and functions which are modified or created for export to the environment of subsequent commands.
-b
Report the status of terminated background jobs immediately, rather than before the next primary prompt. This is effective only when job control is enabled.
-e
Exit immediately if a pipeline (which may consist of a single simple command), a subshell command enclosed in parentheses, or one of the commands executed as part of a command list enclosed by braces (see

.SM

SHELL GRAMMAR

above) exits with a non-zero status. The shell does not exit if the command that fails is part of the command list immediately following a

while

or

until

keyword, part of the test following the

if

or

elif

reserved words, part of any command executed in a

&&

or

||

list except the command following the final && or ||, any command in a pipeline but the last, or if the command's return value is being inverted with

!.

A trap on ERR, if set, is executed before the shell exits. This option applies to the shell environment and each subshell environment separately (see

.SM

"COMMAND EXECUTION ENVIRONMENT"

above), and may cause subshells to exit before executing all the commands in the subshell.
-f
Disable pathname expansion.
-h
Remember the location of commands as they are looked up for execution. This is enabled by default.
-k
All arguments in the form of assignment statements are placed in the environment for a command, not just those that precede the command name.
-m
Monitor mode. Job control is enabled. This option is on by default for interactive shells on systems that support it (see

.SM

JOB CONTROL

above). Background processes run in a separate process group and a line containing their exit status is printed upon their completion.
-n
Read commands but do not execute them. This may be used to check a shell script for syntax errors. This is ignored by interactive shells.
-o option-name
The option-name can be one of the following:
allexport
Same as

-a.

braceexpand
Same as

-B.

emacs
Use an emacs-style command line editing interface. This is enabled by default when the shell is interactive, unless the shell is started with the

--noediting

option. This also affects the editing interface used for read -e.
errexit
Same as

-e.

errtrace
Same as

-E.

functrace
Same as

-T.

hashall
Same as

-h.

histexpand
Same as

-H.

history
Enable command history, as described above under

.SM

HISTORY.

This option is on by default in interactive shells.
ignoreeof
The effect is as if the shell command ``IGNOREEOF=10'' had been executed (see

Shell Variables

above).
keyword
Same as

-k.

monitor
Same as

-m.

noclobber
Same as

-C.

noexec
Same as

-n.

noglob
Same as

-f.

nolog
Currently ignored.
notify
Same as

-b.

nounset
Same as

-u.

onecmd
Same as

-t.

physical
Same as

-P.

pipefail
If set, the return value of a pipeline is the value of the last (rightmost) command to exit with a non-zero status, or zero if all commands in the pipeline exit successfully. This option is disabled by default.
posix
Change the behavior of

bash

where the default operation differs from the POSIX standard to match the standard (posix mode).
privileged
Same as

-p.

verbose
Same as

-v.

vi
Use a vi-style command line editing interface. This also affects the editing interface used for read -e.
xtrace
Same as

-x.

.sp .5

If

-o

is supplied with no option-name, the values of the current options are printed. If

+o

is supplied with no option-name, a series of

set

commands to recreate the current option settings is displayed on the standard output.

-p
Turn on

privileged

mode. In this mode, the

.SM

$ENV

and

.SM

$BASH_ENV

files are not processed, shell functions are not inherited from the environment, and the

.SM

SHELLOPTS,

.SM

BASHOPTS,

.SM

CDPATH,

and

.SM

GLOBIGNORE

variables, if they appear in the environment, are ignored. If the shell is started with the effective user (group) id not equal to the real user (group) id, and the -p option is not supplied, these actions are taken and the effective user id is set to the real user id. If the -p option is supplied at startup, the effective user id is not reset. Turning this option off causes the effective user and group ids to be set to the real user and group ids.
-t
Exit after reading and executing one command.
-u
Treat unset variables and parameters other than the special parameters "@" and "*" as an error when performing parameter expansion. If expansion is attempted on an unset variable or parameter, the shell prints an error message, and, if not interactive, exits with a non-zero status.
-v
Print shell input lines as they are read.
-x
After expanding each simple command, for command, case command, select command, or arithmetic for command, display the expanded value of

.SM

PS4,

followed by the command and its expanded arguments or associated word list.
-B
The shell performs brace expansion (see

Brace Expansion

above). This is on by default.
-C
If set,

bash

does not overwrite an existing file with the

>,

>&,

and

<>

redirection operators. This may be overridden when creating output files by using the redirection operator

>|

instead of

>.

-E
If set, any trap on ERR is inherited by shell functions, command substitutions, and commands executed in a subshell environment. The ERR trap is normally not inherited in such cases.
-H
Enable

!

style history substitution. This option is on by default when the shell is interactive.
-P
If set, the shell does not follow symbolic links when executing commands such as

cd

that change the current working directory. It uses the physical directory structure instead. By default,

bash

follows the logical chain of directories when performing commands which change the current directory.
-T
If set, any traps on DEBUG and RETURN are inherited by shell functions, command substitutions, and commands executed in a subshell environment. The DEBUG and RETURN traps are normally not inherited in such cases.
--
If no arguments follow this option, then the positional parameters are unset. Otherwise, the positional parameters are set to the args, even if some of them begin with a

-.

-
Signal the end of options, cause all remaining args to be assigned to the positional parameters. The

-x

and

-v

options are turned off. If there are no args, the positional parameters remain unchanged.

The options are off by default unless otherwise noted. Using + rather than - causes these options to be turned off. The options can also be specified as arguments to an invocation of the shell. The current set of options may be found in

$-.

The return status is always true unless an invalid option is encountered.

shift [n]
The positional parameters from n+1 ... are renamed to

$1

....

Parameters represented by the numbers $# down to $#-n+1 are unset.

n

must be a non-negative number less than or equal to $#. If

n

is 0, no parameters are changed. If

n

is not given, it is assumed to be 1. If

n

is greater than $#, the positional parameters are not changed. The return status is greater than zero if

n

is greater than

$#

or less than zero; otherwise 0.
shopt [-pqsu] [-o] [optname ...]
Toggle the values of variables controlling optional shell behavior. With no options, or with the

-p

option, a list of all settable options is displayed, with an indication of whether or not each is set. The -p option causes output to be displayed in a form that may be reused as input. Other options have the following meanings:
-s
Enable (set) each optname.
-u
Disable (unset) each optname.
-q
Suppresses normal output (quiet mode); the return status indicates whether the optname is set or unset. If multiple optname arguments are given with

-q,

the return status is zero if all optnames are enabled; non-zero otherwise.
-o
Restricts the values of optname to be those defined for the

-o

option to the

set

builtin.

If either

-s

or

-u

is used with no optname arguments, the display is limited to those options which are set or unset, respectively. Unless otherwise noted, the shopt options are disabled (unset) by default.

The return status when listing options is zero if all optnames are enabled, non-zero otherwise. When setting or unsetting options, the return status is zero unless an optname is not a valid shell option.

The list of shopt options is: .sp 1v

autocd
If set, a command name that is the name of a directory is executed as if it were the argument to the cd command. This option is only used by interactive shells.
cdable_vars
If set, an argument to the

cd

builtin command that is not a directory is assumed to be the name of a variable whose value is the directory to change to.
cdspell
If set, minor errors in the spelling of a directory component in a

cd

command will be corrected. The errors checked for are transposed characters, a missing character, and one character too many. If a correction is found, the corrected file name is printed, and the command proceeds. This option is only used by interactive shells.
checkhash
If set, bash checks that a command found in the hash table exists before trying to execute it. If a hashed command no longer exists, a normal path search is performed.
checkjobs
If set, bash lists the status of any stopped and running jobs before exiting an interactive shell. If any jobs are running, this causes the exit to be deferred until a second exit is attempted without an intervening command (see

.SM

"JOB CONTROL"

above). The shell always postpones exiting if any jobs are stopped.
checkwinsize
If set, bash checks the window size after each command and, if necessary, updates the values of

.SM

LINES

and

.SM

COLUMNS.

cmdhist
If set,

bash

attempts to save all lines of a multiple-line command in the same history entry. This allows easy re-editing of multi-line commands.
compat31
If set,

bash

changes its behavior to that of version 3.1 with respect to quoted arguments to the [[ conditional command's =~ operator.
compat32
If set,

bash

changes its behavior to that of version 3.2 with respect to locale-specific string comparison when using the [[ conditional command's < and > operators. Bash versions prior to bash-4.1 use ASCII collation and

strcmp(3);

bash-4.1 and later use the current locale's collation sequence and

strcoll(3).

compat40
If set,

bash

changes its behavior to that of version 4.0 with respect to locale-specific string comparison when using the [[ conditional command's < and > operators (see previous item) and the effect of interrupting a command list.
compat41
If set,

bash,

when in posix mode, treats a single quote in a double-quoted parameter expansion as a special character. The single quotes must match (an even number) and the characters between the single quotes are considered quoted. This is the behavior of posix mode through version 4.1. The default bash behavior remains as in previous versions.
direxpand
If set,

bash

replaces directory names with the results of word expansion when performing filename completion. This changes the contents of the readline editing buffer. If not set,

bash

attempts to preserve what the user typed.
dirspell
If set,

bash

attempts spelling correction on directory names during word completion if the directory name initially supplied does not exist.
dotglob
If set,

bash

includes filenames beginning with a `.' in the results of pathname expansion.
execfail
If set, a non-interactive shell will not exit if it cannot execute the file specified as an argument to the

exec

builtin command. An interactive shell does not exit if

exec

fails.
expand_aliases
If set, aliases are expanded as described above under

.SM

ALIASES.

This option is enabled by default for interactive shells.
extdebug
If set, behavior intended for use by debuggers is enabled:
1.
The -F option to the declare builtin displays the source file name and line number corresponding to each function name supplied as an argument.
2.
If the command run by the DEBUG trap returns a non-zero value, the next command is skipped and not executed.
3.
If the command run by the DEBUG trap returns a value of 2, and the shell is executing in a subroutine (a shell function or a shell script executed by the . or source builtins), a call to return is simulated.
4.

.SM

BASH_ARGC

and

.SM

BASH_ARGV

are updated as described in their descriptions above.
5.
Function tracing is enabled: command substitution, shell functions, and subshells invoked with ( command ) inherit the DEBUG and RETURN traps.
6.
Error tracing is enabled: command substitution, shell functions, and subshells invoked with ( command ) inherit the ERR trap.
extglob
If set, the extended pattern matching features described above under Pathname Expansion are enabled.
extquote
If set, $aqstringaq and $"string" quoting is performed within ${parameter} expansions enclosed in double quotes. This option is enabled by default.
failglob
If set, patterns which fail to match filenames during pathname expansion result in an expansion error.
force_fignore
If set, the suffixes specified by the

.SM

FIGNORE

shell variable cause words to be ignored when performing word completion even if the ignored words are the only possible completions. See

.SM

SHELL VARIABLES above for a description of

.SM

FIGNORE.

This option is enabled by default.
globstar
If set, the pattern ** used in a pathname expansion context will match all files and zero or more directories and subdirectories. If the pattern is followed by a /, only directories and subdirectories match.
gnu_errfmt
If set, shell error messages are written in the standard GNU error message format.
histappend
If set, the history list is appended to the file named by the value of the

.SM

HISTFILE

variable when the shell exits, rather than overwriting the file.
histreedit
If set, and

readline

is being used, a user is given the opportunity to re-edit a failed history substitution.
histverify
If set, and

readline

is being used, the results of history substitution are not immediately passed to the shell parser. Instead, the resulting line is loaded into the readline editing buffer, allowing further modification.
hostcomplete
If set, and

readline

is being used, bash will attempt to perform hostname completion when a word containing a @ is being completed (see

Completing

under

.SM

READLINE

above). This is enabled by default.
huponexit
If set, bash will send

.SM

SIGHUP

to all jobs when an interactive login shell exits.
interactive_comments
If set, allow a word beginning with

#

to cause that word and all remaining characters on that line to be ignored in an interactive shell (see

.SM

COMMENTS

above). This option is enabled by default.
lastpipe
If set, and job control is not active, the shell runs the last command of a pipeline not executed in the background in the current shell environment.
lithist
If set, and the

cmdhist

option is enabled, multi-line commands are saved to the history with embedded newlines rather than using semicolon separators where possible.
login_shell
The shell sets this option if it is started as a login shell (see

.SM

"INVOCATION"

above). The value may not be changed.
mailwarn
If set, and a file that bash is checking for mail has been accessed since the last time it was checked, the message ``The mail in mailfile has been read'' is displayed.
no_empty_cmd_completion
If set, and

readline

is being used,

bash

will not attempt to search the

.SM

PATH

for possible completions when completion is attempted on an empty line.
nocaseglob
If set,

bash

matches filenames in a case-insensitive fashion when performing pathname expansion (see

Pathname Expansion

above).
nocasematch
If set,

bash

matches patterns in a case-insensitive fashion when performing matching while executing case or [[ conditional commands.
nullglob
If set,

bash

allows patterns which match no files (see

Pathname Expansion

above) to expand to a null string, rather than themselves.
progcomp
If set, the programmable completion facilities (see Programmable Completion above) are enabled. This option is enabled by default.
promptvars
If set, prompt strings undergo parameter expansion, command substitution, arithmetic expansion, and quote removal after being expanded as described in

.SM

PROMPTING

above. This option is enabled by default.
restricted_shell
The shell sets this option if it is started in restricted mode (see

.SM

"RESTRICTED SHELL"

below). The value may not be changed. This is not reset when the startup files are executed, allowing the startup files to discover whether or not a shell is restricted.
shift_verbose
If set, the

shift

builtin prints an error message when the shift count exceeds the number of positional parameters.
sourcepath
If set, the source (.) builtin uses the value of

.SM

PATH

to find the directory containing the file supplied as an argument. This option is enabled by default.
xpg_echo
If set, the echo builtin expands backslash-escape sequences by default.
suspend [-f]
Suspend the execution of this shell until it receives a

.SM

SIGCONT

signal. A login shell cannot be suspended; the

-f

option can be used to override this and force the suspension. The return status is 0 unless the shell is a login shell and

-f

is not supplied, or if job control is not enabled.
test expr
[ expr ]
Return a status of 0 or 1 depending on the evaluation of the conditional expression

expr.

Each operator and operand must be a separate argument. Expressions are composed of the primaries described above under

.SM

CONDITIONAL EXPRESSIONS .

test does not accept any options, nor does it accept and ignore an argument of -- as signifying the end of options. .sp 1 Expressions may be combined using the following operators, listed in decreasing order of precedence. The evaluation depends on the number of arguments; see below. Operator precedence is used when there are five or more arguments.
! expr
True if

expr

is false.
( expr )
Returns the value of expr. This may be used to override the normal precedence of operators.
expr1 -a expr2
True if both

expr1

and

expr2

are true.
expr1 -o expr2
True if either

expr1

or

expr2

is true.

test and [ evaluate conditional expressions using a set of rules based on the number of arguments. .sp 1

0 arguments
The expression is false.
1 argument
The expression is true if and only if the argument is not null.
2 arguments
If the first argument is !, the expression is true if and only if the second argument is null. If the first argument is one of the unary conditional operators listed above under

.SM

CONDITIONAL EXPRESSIONS ,

the expression is true if the unary test is true. If the first argument is not a valid unary conditional operator, the expression is false.
3 arguments
The following conditions are applied in the order listed. If the second argument is one of the binary conditional operators listed above under

.SM

CONDITIONAL EXPRESSIONS ,

the result of the expression is the result of the binary test using the first and third arguments as operands. The -a and -o operators are considered binary operators when there are three arguments. If the first argument is !, the value is the negation of the two-argument test using the second and third arguments. If the first argument is exactly ( and the third argument is exactly ), the result is the one-argument test of the second argument. Otherwise, the expression is false.
4 arguments
If the first argument is !, the result is the negation of the three-argument expression composed of the remaining arguments. Otherwise, the expression is parsed and evaluated according to precedence using the rules listed above.
5 or more arguments
The expression is parsed and evaluated according to precedence using the rules listed above. .sp 1

When used with test or [, the < and > operators sort lexicographically using ASCII ordering.

times
Print the accumulated user and system times for the shell and for processes run from the shell. The return status is 0.
trap [-lp] [[arg] sigspec ...]
The command

arg

is to be read and executed when the shell receives signal(s)

sigspec.

If

arg

is absent (and there is a single sigspec) or

-,

each specified signal is reset to its original disposition (the value it had upon entrance to the shell). If

arg

is the null string the signal specified by each

sigspec

is ignored by the shell and by the commands it invokes. If

arg

is not present and

-p

has been supplied, then the trap commands associated with each

sigspec

are displayed. If no arguments are supplied or if only

-p

is given,

trap

prints the list of commands associated with each signal. The

-l

option causes the shell to print a list of signal names and their corresponding numbers. Each

sigspec

is either a signal name defined in <signal.h>, or a signal number. Signal names are case insensitive and the

.SM

SIG

prefix is optional. .sp 1 If a

sigspec

is

.SM

EXIT

(0) the command

arg

is executed on exit from the shell. If a

sigspec

is

.SM

DEBUG,

the command

arg

is executed before every simple command, for command, case command, select command, every arithmetic for command, and before the first command executes in a shell function (see

.SM

SHELL GRAMMAR

above). Refer to the description of the extdebug option to the shopt builtin for details of its effect on the DEBUG trap. If a

sigspec

is

.SM

RETURN,

the command

arg

is executed each time a shell function or a script executed with the . or source builtins finishes executing. .sp 1 If a

sigspec

is

.SM

ERR,

the command

arg

is executed whenever a simple command has a non-zero exit status, subject to the following conditions. The

.SM

ERR

trap is not executed if the failed command is part of the command list immediately following a

while

or

until

keyword, part of the test in an

if

statement, part of a command executed in a

&&

or

||

list, or if the command's return value is being inverted via

!.

These are the same conditions obeyed by the errexit option. .sp 1 Signals ignored upon entry to the shell cannot be trapped or reset. Trapped signals that are not being ignored are reset to their original values in a subshell or subshell environment when one is created. The return status is false if any

sigspec

is invalid; otherwise

trap

returns true.
type [-aftpP] name [name ...]
With no options, indicate how each

name

would be interpreted if used as a command name. If the

-t

option is used,

type

prints a string which is one of

alias,

keyword,

function,

builtin,

or

file

if

name

is an alias, shell reserved word, function, builtin, or disk file, respectively. If the

name

is not found, then nothing is printed, and an exit status of false is returned. If the

-p

option is used,

type

either returns the name of the disk file that would be executed if

name

were specified as a command name, or nothing if ``type -t name'' would not return

file.

The

-P

option forces a

.SM

PATH

search for each name, even if ``type -t name'' would not return

file.

If a command is hashed,

-p

and

-P

print the hashed value, not necessarily the file that appears first in

.SM

PATH.

If the

-a

option is used,

type

prints all of the places that contain an executable named

name.

This includes aliases and functions, if and only if the

-p

option is not also used. The table of hashed commands is not consulted when using

-a.

The

-f

option suppresses shell function lookup, as with the command builtin.

type

returns true if all of the arguments are found, false if any are not found.
ulimit [-HSTabcdefilmnpqrstuvx [limit]]
Provides control over the resources available to the shell and to processes started by it, on systems that allow such control. The -H and -S options specify that the hard or soft limit is set for the given resource. A hard limit cannot be increased by a non-root user once it is set; a soft limit may be increased up to the value of the hard limit. If neither -H nor -S is specified, both the soft and hard limits are set. The value of

limit

can be a number in the unit specified for the resource or one of the special values

hard,

soft,

or

unlimited,

which stand for the current hard limit, the current soft limit, and no limit, respectively. If

limit

is omitted, the current value of the soft limit of the resource is printed, unless the -H option is given. When more than one resource is specified, the limit name and unit are printed before the value. Other options are interpreted as follows:
-a
All current limits are reported
-b
The maximum socket buffer size
-c
The maximum size of core files created
-d
The maximum size of a process's data segment
-e
The maximum scheduling priority ("nice")
-f
The maximum size of files written by the shell and its children
-i
The maximum number of pending signals
-l
The maximum size that may be locked into memory
-m
The maximum resident set size (many systems do not honor this limit)
-n
The maximum number of open file descriptors (most systems do not allow this value to be set)
-p
The pipe size in 512-byte blocks (this may not be set)
-q
The maximum number of bytes in POSIX message queues
-r
The maximum real-time scheduling priority
-s
The maximum stack size
-t
The maximum amount of cpu time in seconds
-u
The maximum number of processes available to a single user
-v
The maximum amount of virtual memory available to the shell and, on some systems, to its children
-x
The maximum number of file locks
-T
The maximum number of threads

If

limit

is given, it is the new value of the specified resource (the

-a

option is display only). If no option is given, then

-f

is assumed. Values are in 1024-byte increments, except for

-t,

which is in seconds,

-p,

which is in units of 512-byte blocks, and

-T,

-b,

-n,

and

-u,

which are unscaled values. The return status is 0 unless an invalid option or argument is supplied, or an error occurs while setting a new limit.

umask [-p] [-S] [mode]
The user file-creation mask is set to

mode.

If

mode

begins with a digit, it is interpreted as an octal number; otherwise it is interpreted as a symbolic mode mask similar to that accepted by

chmod(1).

If

mode

is omitted, the current value of the mask is printed. The

-S

option causes the mask to be printed in symbolic form; the default output is an octal number. If the

-p

option is supplied, and

mode

is omitted, the output is in a form that may be reused as input. The return status is 0 if the mode was successfully changed or if no mode argument was supplied, and false otherwise.
unalias [-a] [name ...]
Remove each name from the list of defined aliases. If

-a

is supplied, all alias definitions are removed. The return value is true unless a supplied

name

is not a defined alias.
unset [-fv] [name ...]
For each

name,

remove the corresponding variable or function. If no options are supplied, or the

-v

option is given, each

name

refers to a shell variable. Read-only variables may not be unset. If

-f

is specified, each

name

refers to a shell function, and the function definition is removed. Each unset variable or function is removed from the environment passed to subsequent commands. If any of

.SM

COMP_WORDBREAKS,

.SM

RANDOM,

.SM

SECONDS,

.SM

LINENO,

.SM

HISTCMD,

.SM

FUNCNAME,

.SM

GROUPS,

or

.SM

DIRSTACK

are unset, they lose their special properties, even if they are subsequently reset. The exit status is true unless a

name

is readonly.
wait [n ...]
Wait for each specified process and return its termination status. Each

n

may be a process ID or a job specification; if a job spec is given, all processes in that job's pipeline are waited for. If

n

is not given, all currently active child processes are waited for, and the return status is zero. If

n

specifies a non-existent process or job, the return status is 127. Otherwise, the return status is the exit status of the last process or job waited for.

.if \n(zZ=1 .ig zZ

RESTRICTED SHELL

.zY

If

bash

is started with the name

rbash,

or the

-r

option is supplied at invocation, the shell becomes restricted. A restricted shell is used to set up an environment more controlled than the standard shell. It behaves identically to

bash

with the exception that the following are disallowed or not performed:

These restrictions are enforced after any startup files are read.

.ie \n(zY=1 When a command that is found to be a shell script is executed,

.el \{ When a command that is found to be a shell script is executed

(see

.SM

"COMMAND EXECUTION"

above), }

rbash

turns off any restrictions in the shell spawned to execute the script.

.if \n(zY=1 .ig zY

SEE ALSO

Bash Reference Manual, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
The Gnu Readline Library, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
The Gnu History Library, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) Part 2: Shell and Utilities, IEEE
sh(1), ksh(1), csh(1)
emacs(1), vi(1)
readline(3)

FILES

.FN /bin/bash
The bash executable
.FN /etc/profile
The systemwide initialization file, executed for login shells
.FN /etc/bash.bashrc
The systemwide per-interactive-shell startup file
.FN /etc/bash.bash.logout
The systemwide login shell cleanup file, executed when a login shell exits
.FN ~/.bash_profile
The personal initialization file, executed for login shells
.FN ~/.bashrc
The individual per-interactive-shell startup file
.FN ~/.bash_logout
The individual login shell cleanup file, executed when a login shell exits
.FN ~/.inputrc
Individual readline initialization file

AUTHORS

Brian Fox, Free Software Foundation
[email protected]

Chet Ramey, Case Western Reserve University
[email protected]

BUG REPORTS

If you find a bug in

bash,

you should report it. But first, you should make sure that it really is a bug, and that it appears in the latest version of

bash.

The latest version is always available from ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/bash/.

Once you have determined that a bug actually exists, use the

bashbug

command to submit a bug report. If you have a fix, you are encouraged to mail that as well! Suggestions and `philosophical' bug reports may be mailed to [email protected] or posted to the Usenet newsgroup

gnu.bash.bug.

ALL bug reports should include:

The version number of bash
The hardware and operating system
The compiler used to compile
A description of the bug behaviour
A short script or `recipe' which exercises the bug

bashbug

inserts the first three items automatically into the template it provides for filing a bug report.

Comments and bug reports concerning this manual page should be directed to

[email protected].

BUGS

It's too big and too slow.

There are some subtle differences between

bash

and traditional versions of

sh,

mostly because of the

.SM

POSIX

specification.

Aliases are confusing in some uses.

Shell builtin commands and functions are not stoppable/restartable.

Compound commands and command sequences of the form `a ; b ; c' are not handled gracefully when process suspension is attempted. When a process is stopped, the shell immediately executes the next command in the sequence. It suffices to place the sequence of commands between parentheses to force it into a subshell, which may be stopped as a unit.

Array variables may not (yet) be exported.

There may be only one active coprocess at a time.

.zZ

.zY