Dangers of using a non-base shell

Benjamin M. A'Lee bma+lists at subvert.org.uk
Tue Oct 30 06:02:16 PDT 2007

On Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 08:50:40PM +0000, Stephen Allen wrote:
> It's been drawn to my attention not to use bash from the ports collection, 
> because if one of it's dependencies (gettext or libiconv) fails or is 
> updated significantly, it could break, and prevent login. The suggested 
> solution was to use a base shell (such as sh) and append 'bash -l' to .shrc 
> to automatically enter bash.
> The quite annoying side-effect is having to type 'exit' twice to get out of 
> a su shell or screen.
> Would it be a better idea to use the pre-compiled binary for bash?  And if 
> I did so, could I be alerted to updates as easy as using 'pkg_version -v' 
> when checking if any ports need updating?

With some of the shells there's the option to compile them statically,
which would avoid the problem. 

You could possibly also put "bash -l && exit" in your .shrc, which would
exit if bash exited successfully. I haven't tested it, but it should

A precompiled binary wouldn't help, AFAIK, because you still wouldn't be
able to use it if there was a problem with one of the libraries.

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