Is Bash and Shell Scripting Same?


Scott Campbell

Is Bash and Shell Scripting Same?

If you are new to the world of scripting languages, you might have come across the terms “Bash” and “Shell Scripting” quite often. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they do have distinct differences. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between Bash and Shell Scripting.

What is a Shell?

A shell is a command-line interpreter that allows users to interact with the operating system. It takes commands from the user, interprets them, and executes them in the operating system. The shell provides an interface between the user and the underlying system.

What is Bash?

Bash (Bourne Again SHell) is a popular Unix shell that was created as a replacement for the original Bourne shell (sh). It is one of the most commonly used shells in Linux distributions and macOS.

Differences Between Bash and Other Shells

While there are many different shells available, Bash stands out due to its extensive features and compatibility with other shells. Here are some key differences between Bash and other shells:

  • Bash has more features: Compared to other shells, Bash offers a wide range of additional features such as command-line editing, history manipulation, job control, programmable completion, and more.
  • Bash is backward compatible: Bash is designed to be backward compatible with sh, which means that most scripts written for sh can be executed in Bash without any modifications.
  • Bash has better scripting capabilities: With its advanced scripting capabilities, Bash allows you to write complex scripts by incorporating loops, conditionals, variables, functions, and more.

Shell Scripting

Shell scripting refers to writing scripts or programs using a shell language. While Bash is a popular choice for shell scripting, there are other shells like sh, csh, ksh, and zsh that can also be used for scripting.

Similarities Between Bash and Shell Scripting

Despite their differences, Bash and Shell Scripting have some similarities:

  • Usage: Both Bash and other shells are used for automating tasks, writing system administration scripts, and creating custom commands.
  • Syntax: The syntax of writing scripts in Bash and other shells is similar as they share common constructs like loops, conditionals, variables, functions, and so on.


In summary, while Bash is a specific shell with additional features and compatibility with sh, Shell Scripting is a broader term that encompasses scripting in various shells. If you are new to scripting, starting with Bash can be a good choice due to its popularity and extensive features. However, it’s important to keep in mind that different shells may have slight variations in syntax and functionality.

Now that you understand the similarities and differences between Bash and Shell Scripting, you can make an informed decision on which one suits your needs better. Happy scripting!

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