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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>>>

4.4 Special Builtins

For historical reasons, the POSIX standard has classified several builtin commands as special. When Bash is executing in POSIX mode, the special builtins differ from other builtin commands in three respects:

  1. Special builtins are found before shell functions during command lookup.
  2. If a special builtin returns an error status, a non-interactive shell exits.
  3. Assignment statements preceding the command stay in effect in the shell environment after the command completes.

When Bash is not executing in POSIX mode, these builtins behave no differently than the rest of the Bash builtin commands. The Bash POSIX mode is described in section 6.11 Bash POSIX Mode.

These are the POSIX special builtins:

break     :         .         continue  eval      exec    
exit      export    readonly  return    set       shift   
trap      unset     
ISBN 0954161777GNU Bash Reference ManualSee the print edition