Bash: The Fundamental Tool for Command Line Programming

Bash (Bourne Again Shell) is a widely used shell program for command line programming on Unix-like operating systems. Bash allows users to enter and execute commands, offering a range of automation and scripting capabilities. In this article, we’ll delve into the fundamental features of Bash, its usage, and how it serves as a powerful tool for command line programming.

What Is Bash?

Bash, initially developed by Brian Fox in 1989, is a command line shell. It comes as a standard shell on Linux and Unix systems and is typically located at /bin/bash. Bash provides users with a text-based interface to manage their systems and execute commands. It is also used for creating scripts that involve file processing, loops, conditional statements, and more.
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Essential Bash Commands

When starting to use Bash, familiarizing yourself with some basic commands can make your tasks easier. Here are some commonly used Bash commands:

  1. ls: Lists files and folders in the current directory.
  2. cd: Used to change directories. For example, cd /home/user will take you to the “/home/user” directory.
  3. pwd: Shows the current directory path.
  4. touch: Creates new files. For instance, touch new_file.txt creates a file named “new_file.txt.”
  5. mkdir: Creates new directories. For example, mkdir new_directory creates a directory named “new_directory.”
  6. rm: Deletes files or directories. Exercise caution, as deleted data cannot be easily recovered.
  7. echo: Prints text to the screen. For instance, echo "Hello, World" will print “Hello, World.”

Bash Scripts

Bash is a powerful tool for automation. Bash scripts are text files that consist of sequences of commands used to accomplish specific tasks. Scripts leverage features such as file handling, conditional statements, loops, and workflow control to automate complex processes. You can create a Bash script using text editors or integrated development environments.

Here’s an example of a Bash script:

# This script counts the number of .txt files in a specific directory.



for file in $directory/*.txt; do
  file_count=$((file_count + 1))

echo "Number of .txt files in the directory: $file_count"

This example script counts the number of “.txt” files in a specified directory and displays the result.


Bash is a robust tool for command line programming and automation. By learning basic commands and utilizing Bash scripts, you can easily perform tasks such as file management, system administration, and more. Bash is an integral part of Unix-like operating systems, making it beneficial for anyone working on these platforms to have a fundamental understanding of it.

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