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Basic Installation
These are installation instructions for Bash.
The simplest way to compile Bash is:
1. 'cd' to the directory containing the source code and type
'./configure' to configure Bash for your system. If you're using
'csh' on an old version of System V, you might need to type 'sh
./configure' instead to prevent 'csh' from trying to execute
'configure' itself.
Running 'configure' takes some time. While running, it prints
messages telling which features it is checking for.
2. Type 'make' to compile Bash and build the 'bashbug' bug reporting
3. Optionally, type 'make tests' to run the Bash test suite.
4. Type 'make install' to install 'bash' and 'bashbug'. This will
also install the manual pages and Info file.
The 'configure' shell script attempts to guess correct values for
various system-dependent variables used during compilation. It uses
those values to create a 'Makefile' in each directory of the package
(the top directory, the 'builtins', 'doc', and 'support' directories,
each directory under 'lib', and several others). It also creates a
'config.h' file containing system-dependent definitions. Finally, it
creates a shell script named 'config.status' that you can run in the
future to recreate the current configuration, a file 'config.cache' that
saves the results of its tests to speed up reconfiguring, and a file
'config.log' containing compiler output (useful mainly for debugging
'configure'). If at some point 'config.cache' contains results you
don't want to keep, you may remove or edit it.
To find out more about the options and arguments that the 'configure'
script understands, type
bash-4.2$ ./configure --help
at the Bash prompt in your Bash source directory.
If you want to build Bash in a directory separate from the source
directory - to build for multiple architectures, for example - just use
the full path to the configure script. The following commands will
build bash in a directory under '/usr/local/build' from the source code
in '/usr/local/src/bash-4.4':
mkdir /usr/local/build/bash-4.4
cd /usr/local/build/bash-4.4
bash /usr/local/src/bash-4.4/configure
See *note Compiling For Multiple Architectures:: for more information
about building in a directory separate from the source.
If you need to do unusual things to compile Bash, please try to figure
out how 'configure' could check whether or not to do them, and mail
diffs or instructions to <> so they can be
considered for the next release.
The file '' is used to create 'configure' by a program
called Autoconf. You only need '' if you want to change it
or regenerate 'configure' using a newer version of Autoconf. If you do
this, make sure you are using Autoconf version 2.50 or newer.
You can remove the program binaries and object files from the source
code directory by typing 'make clean'. To also remove the files that
'configure' created (so you can compile Bash for a different kind of
computer), type 'make distclean'.
Compilers and Options
Some systems require unusual options for compilation or linking that the
'configure' script does not know about. You can give 'configure'
initial values for variables by setting them in the environment. Using
a Bourne-compatible shell, you can do that on the command line like
CC=c89 CFLAGS=-O2 LIBS=-lposix ./configure
On systems that have the 'env' program, you can do it like this:
env CPPFLAGS=-I/usr/local/include LDFLAGS=-s ./configure
The configuration process uses GCC to build Bash if it is available.
Compiling For Multiple Architectures
You can compile Bash for more than one kind of computer at the same
time, by placing the object files for each architecture in their own
directory. To do this, you must use a version of 'make' that supports
the 'VPATH' variable, such as GNU 'make'. 'cd' to the directory where
you want the object files and executables to go and run the 'configure'
script from the source directory (*note Basic Installation::). You may
need to supply the '--srcdir=PATH' argument to tell 'configure' where
the source files are. 'configure' automatically checks for the source
code in the directory that 'configure' is in and in '..'.
If you have to use a 'make' that does not supports the 'VPATH' variable,
you can compile Bash for one architecture at a time in the source code
directory. After you have installed Bash for one architecture, use
'make distclean' before reconfiguring for another architecture.
Alternatively, if your system supports symbolic links, you can use the
'support/mkclone' script to create a build tree which has symbolic links
back to each file in the source directory. Here's an example that
creates a build directory in the current directory from a source
directory '/usr/gnu/src/bash-2.0':
bash /usr/gnu/src/bash-2.0/support/mkclone -s /usr/gnu/src/bash-2.0 .
The 'mkclone' script requires Bash, so you must have already built Bash
for at least one architecture before you can create build directories
for other architectures.
Installation Names
By default, 'make install' will install into '/usr/local/bin',
'/usr/local/man', etc. You can specify an installation prefix other
than '/usr/local' by giving 'configure' the option '--prefix=PATH', or
by specifying a value for the 'DESTDIR' 'make' variable when running
'make install'.
You can specify separate installation prefixes for architecture-specific
files and architecture-independent files. If you give 'configure' the
option '--exec-prefix=PATH', 'make install' will use PATH as the prefix
for installing programs and libraries. Documentation and other data
files will still use the regular prefix.
Specifying the System Type
There may be some features 'configure' can not figure out automatically,
but need to determine by the type of host Bash will run on. Usually
'configure' can figure that out, but if it prints a message saying it
can not guess the host type, give it the '--host=TYPE' option. 'TYPE'
can either be a short name for the system type, such as 'sun4', or a
canonical name with three fields: 'CPU-COMPANY-SYSTEM' (e.g.,
See the file 'support/config.sub' for the possible values of each field.
Sharing Defaults
If you want to set default values for 'configure' scripts to share, you
can create a site shell script called '' that gives default
values for variables like 'CC', 'cache_file', and 'prefix'. 'configure'
looks for 'PREFIX/share/' if it exists, then
'PREFIX/etc/' if it exists. Or, you can set the
'CONFIG_SITE' environment variable to the location of the site script.
A warning: the Bash 'configure' looks for a site script, but not all
'configure' scripts do.
Operation Controls
'configure' recognizes the following options to control how it operates.
Use and save the results of the tests in FILE instead of
'./config.cache'. Set FILE to '/dev/null' to disable caching, for
debugging 'configure'.
Print a summary of the options to 'configure', and exit.
Do not print messages saying which checks are being made.
Look for the Bash source code in directory DIR. Usually
'configure' can determine that directory automatically.
Print the version of Autoconf used to generate the 'configure'
script, and exit.
'configure' also accepts some other, not widely used, boilerplate
options. 'configure --help' prints the complete list.
Optional Features
The Bash 'configure' has a number of '--enable-FEATURE' options, where
FEATURE indicates an optional part of Bash. There are also several
'--with-PACKAGE' options, where PACKAGE is something like 'bash-malloc'
or 'purify'. To turn off the default use of a package, use
'--without-PACKAGE'. To configure Bash without a feature that is
enabled by default, use '--disable-FEATURE'.
Here is a complete list of the '--enable-' and '--with-' options that
the Bash 'configure' recognizes.
Define if you are using the Andrew File System from Transarc.
Use the Bash version of 'malloc' in the directory 'lib/malloc'.
This is not the same 'malloc' that appears in GNU libc, but an
older version originally derived from the 4.2 BSD 'malloc'. This
'malloc' is very fast, but wastes some space on each allocation.
This option is enabled by default. The 'NOTES' file contains a
list of systems for which this should be turned off, and
'configure' disables this option automatically for a number of
Use the curses library instead of the termcap library. This should
be supplied if your system has an inadequate or incomplete termcap
A synonym for '--with-bash-malloc'.
Define this to make Bash link with a locally-installed version of
Readline rather than the version in 'lib/readline'. This works
only with Readline 5.0 and later versions. If PREFIX is 'yes' or
not supplied, 'configure' uses the values of the make variables
'includedir' and 'libdir', which are subdirectories of 'prefix' by
default, to find the installed version of Readline if it is not in
the standard system include and library directories. If PREFIX is
'no', Bash links with the version in 'lib/readline'. If PREFIX is
set to any other value, 'configure' treats it as a directory
pathname and looks for the installed version of Readline in
subdirectories of that directory (include files in PREFIX/'include'
and the library in PREFIX/'lib').
Define this to use the Purify memory allocation checker from
Rational Software.
This produces a shell with minimal features, close to the
historical Bourne shell.
There are several '--enable-' options that alter how Bash is compiled
and linked, rather than changing run-time features.
Enable support for large files
( if the
operating system requires special compiler options to build
programs which can access large files. This is enabled by default,
if the operating system provides large file support.
This builds a Bash binary that produces profiling information to be
processed by 'gprof' each time it is executed.
This causes Bash to be linked statically, if 'gcc' is being used.
This could be used to build a version to use as root's shell.
The 'minimal-config' option can be used to disable all of the following
options, but it is processed first, so individual options may be enabled
using 'enable-FEATURE'.
All of the following options except for 'disabled-builtins',
'direxpand-default', and 'xpg-echo-default' are enabled by default,
unless the operating system does not provide the necessary support.
Allow alias expansion and include the 'alias' and 'unalias'
builtins (*note Aliases::).
Include support for the alternate form of the 'for' command that
behaves like the C language 'for' statement (*note Looping
Include support for one-dimensional array shell variables (*note
Include support for 'csh'-like history substitution (*note History
Include 'csh'-like brace expansion ( 'b{a,b}c' ==> 'bac bbc' ).
See *note Brace Expansion::, for a complete description.
Include support for case-modifying attributes in the 'declare'
builtin and assignment statements. Variables with the UPPERCASE
attribute, for example, will have their values converted to
uppercase upon assignment.
Include support for case-modifying word expansions.
Include support for recognizing 'time' as a reserved word and for
displaying timing statistics for the pipeline following 'time'
(*note Pipelines::). This allows pipelines as well as shell
builtins and functions to be timed.
Include support for the '[[' conditional command. (*note
Conditional Constructs::).
Include support for matching POSIX regular expressions using the
'=~' binary operator in the '[[' conditional command. (*note
Conditional Constructs::).
Include support for coprocesses and the 'coproc' reserved word
(*note Pipelines::).
Include support for the bash debugger (distributed separately).
If calling 'stat' on /dev/fd/N returns different results than
calling 'fstat' on file descriptor N, supply this option to enable
a workaround. This has implications for conditional commands that
test file attributes.
Cause the 'direxpand' shell option (*note The Shopt Builtin::) to
be enabled by default when the shell starts. It is normally
disabled by default.
Include support for a 'csh'-like directory stack and the 'pushd',
'popd', and 'dirs' builtins (*note The Directory Stack::).
Allow builtin commands to be invoked via 'builtin xxx' even after
'xxx' has been disabled using 'enable -n xxx'. See *note Bash
Builtins::, for details of the 'builtin' and 'enable' builtin
Include support for the '((...))' command (*note Conditional
Include support for the extended pattern matching features
described above under *note Pattern Matching::.
Set the default value of the EXTGLOB shell option described above
under *note The Shopt Builtin:: to be enabled.
Include support for importing function definitions exported by
another instance of the shell from the environment. This option is
enabled by default.
Set the default value of the GLOBASCIIRANGES shell option described
above under *note The Shopt Builtin:: to be enabled. This controls
the behavior of character ranges when used in pattern matching
bracket expressions.
Include the 'help' builtin, which displays help on shell builtins
and variables (*note Bash Builtins::).
Include command history and the 'fc' and 'history' builtin commands
(*note Bash History Facilities::).
This enables the job control features (*note Job Control::), if the
operating system supports them.
This enables support for multibyte characters if the operating
system provides the necessary support.
This enables the special handling of filenames of the form
'/dev/tcp/HOST/PORT' and '/dev/udp/HOST/PORT' when used in
redirections (*note Redirections::).
This enables process substitution (*note Process Substitution::) if
the operating system provides the necessary support.
Enable the programmable completion facilities (*note Programmable
Completion::). If Readline is not enabled, this option has no
Turn on the interpretation of a number of backslash-escaped
characters in the '$PS0', '$PS1', '$PS2', and '$PS4' prompt
strings. See *note Controlling the Prompt::, for a complete list
of prompt string escape sequences.
Include support for command-line editing and history with the Bash
version of the Readline library (*note Command Line Editing::).
Include support for a "restricted shell". If this is enabled,
Bash, when called as 'rbash', enters a restricted mode. See *note
The Restricted Shell::, for a description of restricted mode.
Include the 'select' compound command, which allows the generation
of simple menus (*note Conditional Constructs::).
Use external files for the documentation displayed by the 'help'
builtin instead of storing the text internally.
Store the text displayed by the 'help' builtin as a single string
for each help topic. This aids in translating the text to
different languages. You may need to disable this if your compiler
cannot handle very long string literals.
Make Bash POSIX-conformant by default (*note Bash POSIX Mode::).
A synonym for '--enable-xpg-echo-default'.
Make the 'echo' builtin expand backslash-escaped characters by
default, without requiring the '-e' option. This sets the default
value of the 'xpg_echo' shell option to 'on', which makes the Bash
'echo' behave more like the version specified in the Single Unix
Specification, version 3. *Note Bash Builtins::, for a description
of the escape sequences that 'echo' recognizes.
The file 'config-top.h' contains C Preprocessor '#define' statements for
options which are not settable from 'configure'. Some of these are not
meant to be changed; beware of the consequences if you do. Read the
comments associated with each definition for more information about its