By Tim Miller
Last updated on

The answer is bash. The bash command opens a new Bourne Again Shell (bash) session.

What is Bash?

Bash is an acronym for Bourne Again Shell. It is a Unix shell written in C by Brian Fox in 1989. It is a replacement for the Bourne shell. It is licensed under the GNU Project as free software.

In most computers running Linux, bash is the standard shell. It comes with many useful features such as:

  • Command-line completion with the press of the tab key
  • Command history stored in the .history file in the user’s profile
  • Perform arithmetic evaluations without requiring external processes
  • In-process regular expression

What Does Using Bash Shell Mean?

A shell is a command language interpreter for the GNU operating system. Bash is an implementation of a shell that allows you to perform operations from the command line.

What Are Some Reasons Why Bash is Considered a Defacto Standard Shell on Linux Distributions?

Bash is the official GNU shell. It is well-known and has many great features listed above.

There are many other shells available such as zsh, ksh, pdksh, and tcsh.

How to Run Bash Script?

The bash script needs to be executable if you want to run it. To make it executable, add the “execute” permission by running this command.

chmod u+x my_script

Where my_script is the name of the script you want to run. After this change, you can run the script by running this command.


An alternative which is safer to do is to use the “bash” command in front of the script name.

bash my_script

This will execute my_script using the Bash shell interpreter.

How to Change Shell to Bash?

At the command line, type the following command.


Running this command changes the shell for the current session but if you restart your terminal or computer, you will be back to assigned shell.

If you want to make this change permanent, you will have to edit the /etc/passwd file. Use an editor such as vi, emacs, or pico to edit this file, search for your username, and change it to /bin/bash.

Here is an example for username sammy:


How to Exit Bash Shell?

If you are already in the bash shell, you can exit this shell by typing exit and pressing ENTER.

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