Appendix E. Building bash from Source

In this appendix we’ll show you how to get the latest version of bash and install it on your system from source, and we’ll discuss potential problems you might encounter along the way. We’ll also look briefly at the examples that come with bash and how you can report bugs to the bash maintainer. The material in this appendix also appears in Learning the bash Shell, 3rd Edition, by Cameron Newham (O’Reilly).

Obtaining bash

You can find the very latest details on the current distribution and where to obtain it from the bash home page.

Unpacking the Archive

Having obtained the archive file, you need to unpack it and install it on your system. Unpacking can be done anywhere—we’ll assume you’re unpacking it in your home directory. Installing it on the system requires you to have root privileges. If you aren’t a system administrator with root access, you can still compile and use bash; you just can’t install it as a system-wide utility. The first thing to do is uncompress the archive file: gunzip bash-4.4.tar.gz. Then you need to untar the archive: tar -xf bash- 4.4.tar. The -xf means “extract the archived material from the specified file.” This will create a directory called bash-4.4 in your home directory. If you do not have the gunzip utility, you can obtain it in the same way you obtained bash or simply use gzip -d instead.

The archive contains all of the source code needed to compile bash and a large amount of documentation and examples. ...

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