What Is Shebang in Shell Scripting?


Larry Thompson

In shell scripting, the shebang is a special sequence of characters that tells the operating system which interpreter should be used to execute the script. It is denoted by the #! symbol followed by the path to the interpreter.

Why is Shebang Important?

The shebang is important because it allows us to write scripts in different programming languages and ensures that they are executed correctly. Without a shebang, the operating system would not know how to interpret and run the script.

Basic Syntax

The basic syntax of a shebang line is as follows:


For example, if we want to use the Bash interpreter for our script, we would use:


If we want to use Python 3, we would use:


Running Scripts with Shebang

To run a script with a shebang, you need to make sure that the script has execute permissions. You can do this using the chmod command:

$ chmod +x script.sh

After granting execute permissions, you can run the script directly from the command line:

$ ./script.sh

Common Shebangs

Here are some commonly used shebangs for different scripting languages:

  • Bash: #!/bin/bash
  • Python 3: #!/usr/bin/python3
  • Perl: #!/usr/bin/perl
  • Ruby: #!/usr/bin/ruby
  • PHP: #!/usr/bin/php

Shebang for Interpreters in Non-Standard Locations

If the interpreter is located in a non-standard location, you can specify the full path to the interpreter in the shebang line. For example:


This will ensure that the script is always executed with the correct interpreter, regardless of its location.


The shebang is a powerful tool in shell scripting that allows us to specify which interpreter should be used to execute our scripts. By using the correct shebang, we can ensure that our scripts are portable and can be run on different systems without any issues.

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