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6.3.3 Interactive Shell Behavior

When the shell is running interactively, it changes its behavior in several ways.

  1. Startup files are read and executed as described in Bash Startup Files.
  2. Job Control (see Job Control) is enabled by default. When job control is in effect, Bash ignores the keyboard-generated job control signals SIGTTIN, SIGTTOU, and SIGTSTP.
  3. Bash expands and displays PS1 before reading the first line of a command, and expands and displays PS2 before reading the second and subsequent lines of a multi-line command. Bash expands and displays PS0 after it reads a command but before executing it. See Controlling the Prompt, for a complete list of prompt string escape sequences.
  4. Bash executes the values of the set elements of the PROMPT_COMMAND array variable as commands before printing the primary prompt, $PS1 (see Bash Variables).
  5. Readline (see Command Line Editing) is used to read commands from the user’s terminal.
  6. Bash inspects the value of the ignoreeof option to set -o instead of exiting immediately when it receives an EOF on its standard input when reading a command (see The Set Builtin).
  7. Command history (see Bash History Facilities) and history expansion (see History Expansion) are enabled by default. Bash will save the command history to the file named by $HISTFILE when a shell with history enabled exits.
  8. Alias expansion (see Aliases) is performed by default.
  9. In the absence of any traps, Bash ignores SIGTERM (see Signals).
  10. In the absence of any traps, SIGINT is caught and handled (see Signals). SIGINT will interrupt some shell builtins.
  11. An interactive login shell sends a SIGHUP to all jobs on exit if the huponexit shell option has been enabled (see Signals).
  12. The -n invocation option is ignored, and ‘set -n’ has no effect (see The Set Builtin).
  13. Bash will check for mail periodically, depending on the values of the MAIL, MAILPATH, and MAILCHECK shell variables (see Bash Variables).
  14. Expansion errors due to references to unbound shell variables after ‘set -u’ has been enabled will not cause the shell to exit (see The Set Builtin).
  15. The shell will not exit on expansion errors caused by var being unset or null in ${var:?word} expansions (see Shell Parameter Expansion).
  16. Redirection errors encountered by shell builtins will not cause the shell to exit.
  17. When running in POSIX mode, a special builtin returning an error status will not cause the shell to exit (see Bash POSIX Mode).
  18. A failed exec will not cause the shell to exit (see Bourne Shell Builtins).
  19. Parser syntax errors will not cause the shell to exit.
  20. If the cdspell shell option is enabled, the shell will attempt simple spelling correction for directory arguments to the cd builtin (see the description of the cdspell option to the shopt builtin in The Shopt Builtin). The cdspell option is only effective in interactive shells.
  21. The shell will check the value of the TMOUT variable and exit if a command is not read within the specified number of seconds after printing $PS1 (see Bash Variables).

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