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dash is the Debian Almquist shell: a small, fast, and POSIX compliant shell. It is well-suited for startup scripts, and is used on Debian (and derivative distributions) as /bin/sh.

As some shell scripts may have "bashisms" in them, dash is not guaranteed to work as a /bin/sh replacement on Gentoo, out-of-the-box.

See the terminal emulator article for some general usage pointers, though dash is not often used in interactive mode.


USE flags

USE flags for app-shells/dash Debian Almquist Shell

libedit Use the libedit library (replacement for readline)
static !!do not set this during bootstrap!! Causes binaries to be statically linked instead of dynamically


root #emerge --ask app-shells/dash


Make dash the default system shell:

root #cd /bin
root #ln -sf dash sh
root #echo /bin/dash >>/etc/shells
root #usermod -s /bin/dash root

Use dash as current shell:

user $chsh -s /bin/dash

Alternatively, just use app-eselect/eselect-sh:

root #eselect sh set /bin/dash


Garbled display

The output of a shell can, in some conditions, become corrupt. See the terminal emulator article for instructions to help fix this.

See also

  • Shell — command-line interpreter that offers a text-based interface to users.