Switched to Bash and Comparison of Shells

Dan D Niles dan at more.net
Mon Jun 14 17:08:50 UTC 2010

On Fri, 2010-06-11 at 11:46 +0930, Malcolm Kay wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Jun 2010 02:49 am, Dan D Niles wrote:
> > I had been using csh/tcsh for 20 years and I just switched to
> > bash.  The recent discussion about the differences between the
> > shells prompted me to take another look at bash.  I thought
> > I'd share my perception of the differences between tcsh and
> > bash.
> It seems to me that it is a little late in the day to be changing
> to bash. Some well known Linux distributions are beginning to see 
> that some non-posix features of bash can create difficulties. I 
> believe recent releases of Ubuntu use dash as the prefered 
> shell, and it looks as though Debian will be going the same way.
> Dash is supposed to be a modern, faster and cleaner 
> implementation of sh -- if installed through FBSD ports it has 
> the same man page as sh.

For an interactive shell, it doesn't really matter if it has non-POSIX
features or not.  For scripts it is a different story.  If you use
non-POSIX features in a script, it becomes less portable.  I switched my
interactive shell not my scripting shell. 

The problem with Linux distros is they replaced /bin/sh with bash.  I
imagine that non-POSIX features started to creep into their shell
scripts and they became less portable.   I agree with Linux distros
using a POSIX shell for /bin/sh instead of bash.  Ubuntu has been using
dash as of at least 9.04, BTW.

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