GNU Bash

Bash is the GNU Project's shell. Bash is the Bourne Again SHell. Bash is an sh-compatible shell that incorporates useful features from the Korn shell (ksh) and C shell (csh). It is intended to conform to the IEEE POSIX P1003.2/ISO 9945.2 Shell and Tools standard. It offers functional improvements over sh for both programming and interactive use. In addition, most sh scripts can be run by Bash without modification.

The improvements offered by Bash include:

The maintainer also has a bash page which includes Frequently-Asked-Questions.

Downloading Bash

Bash can be found on the main GNU ftp server: (via HTTP) and (via FTP). It can also be found on the GNU mirrors; please use a mirror if possible.


Documentation for Bash is available online, as is documentation for most GNU software. You may also find more information about Bash by running info bash or man bash, or by looking at /usr/doc/bash/, /usr/local/doc/bash/, or similar directories on your system. A brief summary is available by running bash --help.

Mailing lists

To ask for help about bash, bash programming or bash shell scripting please use the <> mailing list. To report bugs or to discuss most aspects of developing bash please use the <> mailing list.

Announcements about Bash and most other GNU software are made on <>.

To subscribe to these or any GNU mailing lists, please send an empty mail with a Subject: header of just subscribe to the relevant -request list. For example, to subscribe yourself to the GNU announcement list, you would send mail to <>. Or you can use the mailing list web interface.

Getting involved

Development of Bash, and GNU in general, is a volunteer effort, and you can contribute. For information, please read How to help GNU. If you'd like to get involved, it's a good idea to join the discussion mailing list (see above).

For development sources, bug and patch trackers, and other information, please see the Bash project page at
Translating Bash
To translate Bash's messages into other languages, please see the Translation Project page for Bash. If you have a new translation of the message strings, or updates to the existing strings, please have the changes made in this repository. Only translations from this site will be incorporated into Bash. For more information, see the Translation Project.
Bash is currently being maintained by Chet Ramey. Please use the mailing lists for contact.


Bash is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

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