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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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4. The Bourne Shell and Korn Shell

This section presents the following topics:

  • Overview of features

  • Syntax

  • Variables

  • Arithmetic expressions (Korn shell only)

  • Command history (Korn shell only)

  • Built-in commands

  • Job control

  • Invoking the shell

  • Restricted shells

4.1 Overview of Features

The Bourne shell is the standard shell and provides the following features:

  • Input/output redirection.

  • Wildcard characters (metacharacters) for filename abbreviation.

  • Shell variables for customizing your environment.

  • A built-in command set for writing shell programs.

  • Job control (beginning in SVR4).

The Korn shell is a backward-compatible extension of the Bourne shell. Features that are valid only in the Korn shell are so indicated.

  • Command-line editing (using vi or emacs).

  • Access to previous commands (command history).

  • Integer arithmetic.

  • More ways to match patterns and substitute variables.

  • Arrays and arithmetic expressions.

  • Command name abbreviation (aliasing).


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