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GNU Bash Reference Manual
by Chet Ramey and Brian Fox
Paperback (6"x9"), 180 pages
ISBN 0954161777
RRP £19.95 ($29.95)

"An essential resource .... the most detailed coverage available for all aspects of Bash" --- Linux User and Developer Magazine (Issue 37, Mar 2004) Get a printed copy>>>

4 Shell Builtin Commands

Builtin commands are contained within the shell itself. When the name of a builtin command is used as the first word of a simple command (see section 3.2.1 Simple Commands), the shell executes the command directly, without invoking another program. Builtin commands are necessary to implement functionality impossible or inconvenient to obtain with separate utilities.

This section briefly describes the builtins which Bash inherits from the Bourne Shell, as well as the builtin commands which are unique to or have been extended in Bash.

Several builtin commands are described in other chapters: builtin commands which provide the Bash interface to the job control facilities (see section 7.2 Job Control Builtins), the directory stack (see section 6.8.1 Directory Stack Builtins), the command history (see section 9.2 Bash History Builtins), and the programmable completion facilities (see section 8.7 Programmable Completion Builtins).

Many of the builtins have been extended by POSIX or Bash.

Unless otherwise noted, each builtin command documented as accepting options preceded by ‘-’ accepts ‘--’ to signify the end of the options. For example, the :, true, false, and test builtins do not accept options.

ISBN 0954161777GNU Bash Reference ManualSee the print edition