Posts Tagged ‘bash’

Release script for SVN

Friday, June 8th, 2012

I am currently working on a project that comprises several components individually managed in SVN. These components are built and then linked in to the final binary. To makes things easier I wrote a release script that creates an editable commit message with the SVN revisions of the components and commits the final binary. I thought it might be useful to others so generalised it.

T’info about Dash

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Once upon a time there was the Bourne command shell. sh as it is known is core at the heart of any UNIXy type operating system and others too. However for some it didn’t do enough so the Bourne Again shell, bash, was written and nearly every system ships with that. These shells are not the same. The have similar syntax but do not behave similarly.

There are other shells which have a completely different syntax and other scripting languages such as Perl and PHP so when writing a shell script you can indicate the correct interpreter using the ‘hash bang bin bash’ comment to indicate you are using bash. I.e.


Some lazy programmers don’t indicate the exact shell they require and use


to mean bash when it means sh.

Ubuntu, in their wisdom, have decided to go for dash as their shell. It is an evolution of the Almquist shell and is smaller and lighter weight than bash however they install bash anyway. dash and bash have the common subset of sh commands but are different. So if you find you have a problem building or similar on Ubuntu it may be that the wrong shell is being used. Ubuntu has a symlink as follows:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       4 Mar 29  2009 sh -> dash

You may need to change this to point to dash as follows:

$ cd /bin
$ sudo rm sh
$ sudo ln -s bash sh

While we’re handling Ubuntu oddities building against NCurses, the terminal output library, can also be problematical. A little while ago NCurses was split in to two libraries, and Some badly written software will try and link explicitly with directly rather than trying first. Ubuntu does not split these two libraries but provides just the one library so if you have an issue with a missing you will need to add symlinks in to your library directory as follows:

$ cd /usr/lib
$ ln -s
$ ln -s