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Thread: Linux Shells

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Lightbulb Linux Shells

    I have a ? about which shell is good for a newbie to linux to learn or easier for a newbie to learn or use. I'm fairly new to this *nix world and was just wondering. Is there a shell that more powerful or more secure than other shells.

    thanx in advance for your thoughts.


    The power is at your fingertips!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Well, I am no expert in all the shells available these days, however.....

    For a newbie, the best shell is probably the bash shell... which is Bourne again shell. This seems to be the shell installed by default in all the linux distros which I have used.

    As far as easy to learn, well, Im not sure it matters. Bottom line is, that almost all of the basic nix commands are available in all of the different shells(if not all). the major differences I would think show up in shell scripting(these should be fairly minor for most shells I would think) and possibly in the profile files which determine how the shell you use works( I have not explored these in many different shells).

    As far as security goes, Im not sure that it really matters which shell is used, from a network security point of view. The shell that you use has no real impact on which services are run by default on your machine, or anything else. No need to worry about more open ports or anything, the shell is something which is used when you are already connected to, or physically at the machine in question.

    The only situation I can think of where the shell used may matter from a security point of view, is, if you are offereing shell accounts to remote users. In that case, the shell in question I am sure could have more or less security vulnerabilities, but, the biggest risk would probably come from the apps which are executed inside the shell, than from the shell itself.

    Of course, different shells can have different context or capabilities when it comes to shell scripting. I suppose that someone could (while logged into a particular shell) figure out someway to exploit the particulars of its commands/scripting interface, but this seems (to me) really secondary to all of the other security issues around.

    Just my humble opinion,


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Here's a good link that'll go through all the differences with you. . .
    Every now and then, one of you won't annoy me.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    lol use redhat 7.3 the defaults are good for a newbie!
    Theres no need to fear, BlazeTech is here

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    I think the bash shell is fine for a beginner, and it has the advantage of being free and already installed with linux. I don't see any great reason to seek out a different shell but the korn shell is also a good. If you are a C programmer you might benefit from using the C shell but it might be the least easy to learn. I've not heard of any security advantages or disadvantages to any particular shell. All the shells are powerful in their own way. The bash shell has a good combination of the features of the korn and C shells. I would stick with bash.

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