History of Bash

The independence of the shell within the UNIX operating system has led to the beginning of several of shells throughout the UNIX history. Although, few of them could survive and achieved widespread use.
Bash was one of them which has an essential discipline for anyone who wished to write scripts to perform automated tasks.

It Started with UNIX

In 1971, Ken Thompson released the first UNIX shell which was called the Thompson Shell. There were several limitations to the amount of scripting that users could perform and that was the serious issue for the automation. After that, the first major shell was the Bourne Shell which was named after its creator, Steven Bourne. It was added in the first popular version of UNIX (Version 7, 1979). The Bourne shell was known on the system as 'sh'.

Bourne Shell is a Step-Forward

Bourne shell was released to remove the scripting limitations of the Thompson shell. It had two primary goals:

• serve as a command interpreter which could interactively execute the commands for the operating systems and scripting
• remove the limitations of Thompson shell 

In addition to the features of Thompson shell, the Bourne shell introduced several advantages over its predecessors. It introduced the control flows, loops, and variables to be used in the scripts. It also provided more functional language, which was useful to interact with the operating system, both interactively and non-interactively. 

Rethinking Bourne's shell as Free Software

Richard Stallman and a group of some other developers started writing features of UNIX with a license that was freely available under the GNU license. One of those developers, Brian Fox, started making a shell taking a popular Bourne shell as a base object. Hence, the Bourne shell was reimagined; born again.

The Bourne Again Shell

Bash, referred to as standard shell for the GNU system, was officially "born" on Sunday, Jan 10, 1988. Brian Fox wrote the final version of bash and continued to improve the shell up until 1993. The first version of the bash was released as the beta version 0.99 which was freely available from the Free Software Foundation (FSF). In between the development, Chet Ramey joined the project in 1989 and fixed several bugs. Chat Ramey also added many useful features and became the official maintainer of bash after Brian Fox. Brian Fox remained the primary Bash maintainer till 1993.

In 1995, Chet Ramey started working on a major new release of bash, 2.0, which was made available to the public on December 23, 1996. It has several unique features compared to the old release (1.14.7). Bash found its way with every significant release becoming the most popular version of Bourne shell derivative.

Nowadays, Bash is in-built on almost all the Linux versions and Mac OS and also got slated as a native part of Windows 10. It is the standard shell available with Linux which can also be used to perform several administration features.

Note: Currently, we have the latest bash version, i.e., bash-7.0.

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