Is Bash a coding language?

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Many questions have been asked about this. If you’ve ever wondered whether Bash is a coding language or not, then this article is for you, and upon reading it till the end, you’ll be satisfied with what to say next time you come across this question.

However, before we dive into the main content, it is good that we define what Bash is. Bash is a Linux shell command language that is used for shell scripts that uses command interface utilities. Bash was introduced by Brian Fox.

He was the primary bash maintainer. Bash can be called the born-again shell. It comes from the Thompson Shell followed by `sh` shell. Bash has siblings like ksh, tcsh, and lastly zsh.

Bash is the most widely used shell language. So far, information isn’t clear on servers that do not use a shell. However, the other part that stands untouched is the coding language. What a coding language is and what it stands for. Another name for a coding language is a programming language.

A coding language is an official language that has a set of strings. These strings produce a set of machine output.

It is worth noting that, there are several commands found for both UNIX and Linux. What can make you remain dumbfounded is how diverse they are. An example makes you capable of resizing photos without necessarily opening the photos in your editor or viewer.

Having that out of the way, let’s see how you can run Bash. Running Bash can be both simple and complex, depending on your level of experience in computing and coding. Today, modern Linux and UNIX providers issue default bash shells. They do this due to the popularity of Bash in society.

Another feature that makes this possible is its several convenience functions that are not found in any other shell. Nonetheless, some systems use shell by default.

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Is Bash a programming language

What is Bash?

You might have heard of what Bash is before. Regardless of your knowledge of what Bash is and how you can define it, here you shall be sure of what Bash is. 

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To give it a simpler definition, Bash is defined as a shell programming language or, in other words, a shell program. A shell program is a binary executable program that takes instructions that you feed into the computer. Once you press the return button, upon typing these commands, it will translate them into ultimate system calls to the computer operating system.

With that decision, an assumption is made that you know what a binary is. To avoid doubts, a binary is a file that has the program instructions. For instance, it is a program file, text file, or application file.

If, in any case, you don’t know what an operating system is, then don’t worry yourself; all you need to know is that a shell program is a program that permits you to control the computer by telling it what to do. That way, you won’t find it much different from other types of programming languages. The only significant factor that makes Bash different from other languages is that it is designed to combine or glue other programs together.

Bash isn’t the only type of shell language; other examples of shell include, ksh, zsh tclsch, and many more. As an IT programmer, you might have come across some of these shell languages or perhaps have used them before. You can use that knowledge and experience to compare them with Bash.  

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What type of language is Bash?

Having trouble in defining the type of programming language Bash is? The shortest and most accurate answer to this question is that Bash is a scripting language. In addition to this, it allows issuing of the Unix command system to be called, assists in task automation, and performs fresh and new commands using some command as its component.

On the other hand, the longer answer requires that you understand what Bash is and why it is a programming language. To start this off, you need to define a shell. A shell is a user-space program that is used to translate user commands. Bash came up as implementation of the Bourne Shell from UNIX. 

In most cases, coding or programming languages contain computer instructions; they are used to issue commands and instructions to the computer concerning the kind of task that it should display. Today, we have hundreds of thousands of programming languages and many more that are being created every year. Just like Bash, many programming languages are written in a very imperative form. 

Bash is regarded as a very legitimate kind of interface to the computer that is not only used for server administrators and programmers but can also be used as your word processor and can also be your desktop if you like. 

Over the past, it has been found that most computer users use Bash more than they use desktops.

To crown it all, Bash is a Unix shell language that was written by Brian Fox as a replacement for Bourne shell. 

It was released in 1998, and so far, it is used as the shell default logins for most shell distributors.

Bash is a UNIX operating system; hence it is incompatible with other shells like zsh, fish, etc. Bash is not that much preferable for complex programming since it doesn’t have many features. 

Functions, object, data layout, and double treading features are not found in Bash, and this is what makes it not so useful for scripting.


Should I use Bash or Python?

You must have been wondering whether to use Bash or Python. Many questions have been asked about this, and so many answers have emerged as well. Despite your answer, remember these programming languages have pros and cons. The pros and cons make these two programming languages better than others.

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Python and Bash are mostly known as automation engineers’ best programming languages. All these programming languages have pros and cons; this makes it sometimes very hard to choose which is the best you can use. 

There is no clear answer to this question; the best approach would therefore depend on the type of task you want to execute, the context, the scope, and the task complexity.

Let’s now compare and contrast these two languages to have a better idea of where each of them performs best.

To begin with, Python is regarded as a subject-oriented programming language. This is to say that it is much more general-purpose compared to Bash and can be used to execute all types of tasks. Python works on the major operating system; in addition to this, it is also installed as default on Unix /Linux systems. 

In addition to this, Python is almost like coding pseudo code. It is user-friendly, that is to say, that; it is easy to learn, clear, and it is easy to read its syntax. 

So far, Python is taken to have very many libraries, an active community, and serious documentation.

In comparison to Bash, Python has wonderful error handling features, and better debugging tools than Bash. This is what makes it a wonderful language for nourishing detailed software applications with numerous lines of code.

That’s all about Python; let’s now have a look at some of the Bash features and why you should prefer Bash to Python, depending on the type of task you want to execute.

Bash is a Linux or Unix shell language that is used to issue commands; it is the best language for coding shell scripts that use command-line interface utilities. It utilizes the output from one command to another, and this is called pimping. It executes tasks of up to 100 code lines. Bash also has good startup time compared to Python. This is an advantage over Python. However, its execution is very poor.

Bash does not come already installed in Windows, and this may make your script be more incompatible with many operating systems. Remember, Bash exists as a default shell on Linux.

You now have a better understanding of which language to use, when to use it and how to use it. Which language would you prefer for your day-to-day activities?

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How do I code in Bash?

You must have made your decision about the shell. What remains is how to code in a shell. Dot worry much; it is simple, just like other programming languages. Bash has a shell that is the command interpreter for the operating system.

When results are returned to the shell program, the shell program sends them to STDOUT through a default system; they are then displayed within the terminals. Remember, even shells can be termed as programming languages. Features such as its ability to complete tabs, recall, and editing of tab lines and shortcuts all add up to Bash’s value as being a wonderful and powerful shell. The inbuilt command line editing feature uses Emacs; however, Bash can change this to Vi. This is very interesting and can make you fall in love with Bash.

Don’t think of Bash purely as a shell since this will make you miss most of its features.

Remember that Linux and UNIX suppliers issue a default Bash shell. What makes this more realistic is the popularity of Bash within the community. 

Bash also has several user-friendly features that are not found in the shell, though some systems use another shell as a default feature. To be sure whether you are using a Bash shell, you can use the eco command together with the variable representing the name of the running process. 

Nonetheless, if you are not using Bash and you feel like you want to give it a try, the best way is to install it from your software ports tree. If this does not suit you, you can also use Windows Chocolate. In case all this proves in vain, seek assistance from the Bash homepage.

Linux and UNIX have thousands of commands; hence it might surprise you how diverse they seem to be. For example, you can edit a photo in Bash without opening the photo in any app. In addition to this, you can play music like mpg321, audio conversion with sox, edit videos and text using vim, and many more. All these are done in Bash using the commands available within your system or maybe even in the software.

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Bash language Examples

Many questions have been asked about Bash language examples. If, in any case, you’ve ever wondered about this, then this article will have your worries solved at a go. 

There are a lot of Bash language examples; however, in this article, we are just going to key down some of them.

To start with, there is what is called the use of Multiline Comments. You can use more than one line comment in Bash in very many ways. All you will need to do is to create a new Bash by the name `multiline comments sh`.  Apart from that; there is the use of a while loop. It is simple; you just need to come up with a name ` while example sh`; this will help you to understand the use of the while loop. If this is what you execute appropriately, then the value of the variable will automatically have to increase by one. When it reaches 5, the while loop will not function credibly since it will have been terminated.

DO not forget, the user input and using if statements as some of the typical key functions of the Bash language. Always have it in mind that, when using the if statement, you are in a position to use it in multiple or single conditions. In this case, the starting and the ending can be defined by `if` and `if.` This means that you’ll have to come up with a file named `simple if. sh`.

In this article, the last example will be using if statement with logic. You should keep in mind that different logic conditions can be used in the if statement, which has two or more conditions.

Bash script Examples

Bash Script has a good number of examples. This article will help you get to the core basics of Bash that you may need to know to get started with Bash scripting. 

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Initial Bash program

To have Bash filled and running, all you need to do to execute it is to run a terminal command. For example, if you try it by running words like `hello folk` in the terminal, then what you’ll have as the output is `hello folk`.

Echo command  Echo commands have various selections. For example, a new line is added through default if you use the echo command minus any other option. Subsequently, you can use `n` if you want to print a new text without a new line. To get rid of the backslash characters, get used to the `e` for the subsequent output.

Comment use

While using comment to execute your task, you need to use the `#` symbol to bring in a single-line comment within the script. If you do so, you will come up with a new file with a symbol name like `comment sample.`

Multiple comments

In Bash scripting, multiple comments can be made in many ways. To have this verified, you can come up with a new bash named `multiple comment` Then you bring in `and,` the script symbols. This will add multiple comments to the script.

For loop and while loop

Upon coming up with a file named ‘for sample,` combine it with the script using `for a loop.` This type of process will take place up to 12 times in the arrow. In using the while loop, come up with a file named `while sampling. sh`. In this case, the while loop will repeat itself 5 times before causing any inconvenience to the process.

These examples are just a few of many more examples. Just to remind you, there are some more examples like user input, if statement with or without logic, and many more examples.

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Bash syntax

Bash command syntax can be defined as a superset of the borne shell command syntax. This is because Bash can support expansions and command-line completion, which are also known as the types of programmable completions. 

Bash is capable of executing a wide range of Bourne shell scripts minus any modification in them; it does this except for the Bourne shell script.

What is in the Bash command syntax are the Korn shell and c shell ideas. These ideas include command-line editing, directory stack, and some of the variables. Remember, in Bash, when you key in the tab key inside an interactive command shell, Bash will automatically use command-line completion. 

This is so because the beta version 2.04 matches automatically with the typed program names and variable names as well. Bash command-line completion rule is very flexible and easy to customize. The most adorable one is that it’s always packed within functions that can complete the arguments together with file names and specific tasks.

Bash syntax has a large number of extensions that are not found in the Bourne shell. Bash can successfully perform arithmetical problems minus executing the external processes. It uses command and some variables to execute this task. Bash syntax is ever simplified. This means that it is in the position of redirecting standard output and standard errors as well and using the operator at the same time.

When you are using function keywords, remember that Bash function declarations are non-compatible with the Bourne script. However, Bash accepts the same function declaration syntax to be the Bourne and Korn shell.

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Bash commands

Before we dwell on this, there are some basics and symbols you need to better understand. Remember that anything enclosed in this symbol [] stands for optional or decisional. It is also worth noting that some commands can be used without the need for specifying files.

  • IS 

This is, so far, the most common type of command; in many cases, that you’ll need to work in any directory and need to know the type of files that are located there. The Is command will permit you to quickly see all the files within the acquired direction.

  • Echo

Its major function is to print text to the terminal window.

It is used in shell scripts and batch files to bring the output condition text to the computer file. The echo is as well useful for showing the values of the variables within the environment. They tell the shell how to react when a user is working at the command line or in scripts.

  • Touch

Its main function is to create files. Its future predicts it as the easiest way to create new files. However, it can as well be used to come up with time stumps on directories or files. Its additional feature is that you can come up with as many files as you may want within a single command without the worry of overwriting files with similar names.

  • Mkdir

Its major functionality is to create useful directories. It can be used to create any number of directories continuously, and this will boost the processing speed.

  • Grep

The major function of Grep is to search text depending on the patterns specified by the user. This is one of the most useful, powerful, and greatly used commands. In some cases, you may be asked to get a defined string or pattern within a file; in case you don’t know where to begin looking for the string, then Grep will help you locate it easily.

Despite these, there are quite a number of other examples of Bash commands. Do find time and give them a look since they will help in boosting your Bash knowledge.

Bash programming language tutorial

The Bash language tutorial issues fundamental and core concepts of the Bash shell. This Bash tutorial is for those who would like to begin in Bash, and it can as well fit professionals.

In this tutorial, there are all the Bash topics like Bash scripting, loops, variables, conditional statements, position parameters, strings, etc. Bourne again shell is a shell program. It was coded by Brian Fox as an advancement of the Bourne shell program. A prerequisite for learning the Bash language is to have a basic knowledge of the Linux operating system and other programming languages as well.

After that, you should set yourself ready for learning. To begin with, Bash is an acronym for Bourne Again Shell, which is connected to Bourne shell. From another point of view or basic terms, Bash can be defined as a command-line interpreter that runs in a text window where the user can execute commands and conduct various tasks.

You’ll then need to know some of the Bash features like being sh compatible. This is because it is derived from UNIX Bourne Shell. In addition to this, Bash can be incorporated with some of the cool features of Korn and C shell languages.

There are also other features like Bash being able to be invoked by single characters command line. The Bash startup files are the scripts that Bash can read and execute freely. It also has good key binding features, which help one to set up a good key binding sequence.

Bash also has control structures. Examples of these control structures include select construct that is used for menu generation.

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Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.