Chapter 12. bash for Your System

The first 10 chapters of this book looked at nearly all aspects of bash, from navigating the filesystem and editing the command-line to writing shell scripts and functions using lesser-known features of the shell. This is all very well and good, but what if you have an old version of bash and want the new features shown in this book (or worse yet, you don’t have bash at all)?

In this chapter we’ll show you how to get the latest version of bash and install it on your system, 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.

Obtaining bash

If you have a direct connection to the Internet, you should have no trouble obtaining bash; otherwise, you’ll have to do a little more work.

The bash home page is located at and you can find the very latest details of the current distribution and where to obtain it from there.

You can also get bash on CD-ROM by ordering it directly from the Free Software Foundation, either via the web ordering page at or from:

The Free Software Foundation (FSF)
59 Temple Place - Suite 330
Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA

Phone: +1-617-542-5942
Fax: +1-617-542-2652

Unpacking the Archive

Having obtained the archive file by one of the above methods, you need to unpack it and install it on your system. Unpacking can be done anywhere—we’ll ...

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