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A collection of functions for GNU Bash
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Marco's Bash Functions Library

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The MBFL is a collection of shell functions for the GNU Bash shell. This package is an attempt to make Bash a viable solution for medium sized scripts; it needs at least Bash version 4.3.

The package uses the GNU Autotools and it is tested, using Travis CI, on both Ubuntu GNU+Linux systems and OS X systems.


Copyright (c) 2003-2005, 2009-2010, 2012-2014, 2017-2018 Marco Maggi All rights reserved.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3.0 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program. If not, see


To install from a proper release tarball, after unpacking the archive, do this:

$ cd mbfl-3.0.0
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ ../configure [options]
$ make
$ make check
$ make install

to inspect the available configuration options:

$ ../configure --help

We want to check the following configuration options:

  • --with-sudo=/path/to/sudo allows the selection of the pathname to the executable sudo; this pathname is hard-coded in the library. It defaults to: /usr/bin/sudo.

  • --with-whoami=/path/to/whoami allows the selection of the pathname to the executable whoami; this pathname is hard-coded in the library. It defaults to: /usr/bin/whoami.

The Makefile is designed to allow parallel builds, so we can do:

$ make -j4 all && make -j4 check

which, on a 4-core CPU, should speed up building and checking significantly.

From a repository checkout or snapshot (the ones from the Github site): we must install the GNU Autotools (GNU Automake, GNU Autoconf), then we must first run the script from the top source directory, to generate the needed files:

$ cd mbfl
$ sh

After this the procedure is the same as the one for building from a proper release tarball, but we have to enable maintainer mode:

$ ../configure --enable-maintainer-mode [options]
$ make
$ make check
$ make install

After building the package, and before installing it, we can test the example scripts as follows:

$ make test-template MFLAGS='--help'

will run examples/ with the flags --help;

$ make test-template-actions MFLAGS='one green gas --help'

will run examples/ selection the action one green gas and appending the flags --help.


Read the documentation generated from the Texinfo sources. The package installs the documentation in Info format; we can generate and install documentation in HTML format by running:

$ make html
$ make install-html


The stuff was written by Marco Maggi. If this package exists it's because of the great GNU software tools that he uses all the time.

Bugs, vulnerabilities and contributions

Bug and vulnerability reports are appreciated, all the vulnerability reports are public; register them using the Issue Tracker at the project's GitHub site. For contributions and patches please use the Pull Requests feature at the project's GitHub site.


The GNU Project software can be found here:

development takes place at:

and as backup at:

proper release tarballs for this package are in the download area at:

Badges and static analysis

Travis CI

Travis CI is a hosted, distributed continuous integration service used to build and test software projects hosted at GitHub. We can find this project's dashboard at:

Usage of this service is configured through the file .travis.yml and additional scripts are under the directory meta/travis-ci.

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