UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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Previous: 4.7 Job ControlChapter 4
The Bourne Shell and Korn Shell
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4.8 Invoking the Shell

The command interpreter for the Bourne shell (sh) or the Korn shell (ksh) can be invoked as follows:

sh [options] [arguments]

ksh [options] [arguments]

ksh and sh can execute commands from a terminal (when -i is specified), from a file (when the first argument is an executable script), or from standard input (if no arguments remain or if -s is specified).


Arguments are assigned in order to the positional parameters $1, $2, etc. If array assignment is in effect (-A or +A), arguments are assigned as array elements. If the first argument is an executable script, commands are read from it, and remaining arguments are assigned to $1, $2, etc.


-c str

Read commands from string str.


Create an interactive shell (prompt for input).


Start up as a privileged user (i.e., don't process $HOME/.profile).


Create a restricted shell (same as rksh or rsh).


Read commands from standard input; output from built-in commands goes to file descriptor 1; all other shell output goes to file descriptor 2.

The remaining options to sh and ksh are listed under the set built-in command.

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