Basic Shell Control

Ubuntu includes a rich assortment of capable, flexible, and powerful shells. Each shell is different but has numerous built-in commands and configurable command-line prompts and might include features such as command-line history, the ability to recall and use a previous command line, and command-line editing. As an example, the bash shell is so powerful that it is possible to write a minimal web server entirely in bash's language using 114 lines of script (see the link at the end of this chapter).

Although there are many shells to choose from, most people stick with the default, bash. This is because bash does everything most people need to do, and more. Only change your shell if you really need to.

Table 15.1 lists each shell, along with its description and location, in your Ubuntu file system.

Table 15.1. Shells with Ubuntu

Name bash ksh pdksh rsh sh tcsh zsh

Description

The Bourne Again SHell The Korn shell

A symbolic link to ksh

The restricted shell (for network operation)

A symbolic link to bash A csh-compatible shell A compatible csh, ksh, and sh shell

Location

/bin/bash

/usr/bin/pdksh

/usr/bin/rsh

/bin/sh

/bin/tcsh

/bin/zsh

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