What's your most useful shell?

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What's your most useful shell?

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Top Forums UNIX for Advanced & Expert Users What's your most useful shell?
# 141  
Old 01-18-2010
Is there any actual advantage to using any shell other than bash? I have a few books that are solely about the shell and they mention cshell (csh) and korn a lot but never really go over the advantages of either shell. I guess csh was written a lot like the language C to help developer easily adjust who already knew C...but other than that I haven't had anyone tell me the advantages.

From what I can tell, there is nothing any other shell can do that bash can't, or am I wrong to make that assumption?

Not trying to troll here, as I really would like a valid explanation.

# 142  
Old 01-18-2010
I think ksh93 is clearly more advanced than bash for scripting (I am not talking about interactive use). Various users have enumerated the advantages in this thread.
# 143  
Old 01-19-2010
There are a lot of articles about zsh being superior (completions, expansions etc). (see)

I believe bash has caught up with ksh93 in some scripting features such as associative arrays.

You can google "bash vs zsh" and get a lot of stuff. But do note bash 4.x features too when comparing.
# 144  
Old 01-19-2010
Well I only ask because every OS I have ever used that runs some form of Linux or Unix has always had bash as the default shell, and I never really put any effort into learning another one.

Right now I am a sys admin for many OS X clients at my job and the default shell on a Mac is bash.

I am just curious to what is the better shell and why. I know I could google it, but I was hoping to hear first hand from a person who has used them.

Thanks though, I will just google them. I have several books on bash and they all say the same thing. Bash is comparable and one of the best shells out there, and that is about all they say.

I am not a programmer by any means but I definitely write shell scripts whenever I can to automate everything I do at work.
# 145  
Old 01-20-2010
was not intending to put you off!
Going back to your original question: "advantage" really depends on what you are trying to do. e.g., If you were writing shell scripts for personal use, you could go for the shell that gives you most programming features: zsh or ksh93.
OTOH, if like me you write shell scripts you intend to share, you would want to stay off new features and use what will run in most places. So I use bash, but avoid latest features, and even *bash-isms*.
You are a sys-adm - i am not. If you are on the prompt a lot, command substitutions and history commands may save you a lot of typing. Bash is good in that respect, i believe zsh is even better. It's for you to try out and decide. I did give a link on zsh expansions in my previous post.

Otherwise, i suspect you'll be using external commands most of the time, so the shell won't matter too much.

slightly offtopic, but languages like perl allow you to write scripts and do a lot of admin work that is more portable than shell. You might look at perl for sys admins. best wishes.
# 146  
Old 01-20-2010

Thanks man. I have coded a bit with perl in the past, but if it is built into bash I use bash. Apple has a lot of their own unix binaries at the command line, like dscl (directory services command line) which controls pretty much anything you can set with a user account, and they have other binaries specific to their set up. All of which work in bash. I assume they would work in other shells but I have no clue.

I don't script much for personal use. All my coding is pretty much all for work.

Thanks again.

# 147  
Old 01-20-2010
I find Z Shell superior in every aspect (just my personal opinion).
If you are interested you could visit zshwiki.org, start with this page (there are two short video tutorials).

P.S. You could also search UNIX.COM for post with Z Shell solutions Smilie
P.P.S. Another great (one of my favorites) resource: zsh-lovers

Last edited by radoulov; 01-20-2010 at 05:15 AM..
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