Installing Bash

Installation of Bash

Install Bash by running the following commands:

./configure --enable-static-link --prefix=$LFS/usr \
   --bindir=$LFS/bin --with-curses &&
make &&
make install &&
cd $LFS/bin &&
ln -s bash sh

If the make install phase ends with something along the lines of

install-info: unknown option `--dir-file=/mnt/lfs/usr/info/dir' 
usage: install-info [--version] [--help] [--debug] [--maxwidth=nnn] 
	[--section regexp title] [--infodir=xxx] [--align=nnn] 
	[--calign=nnn] [--quiet] [--menuentry=xxx]
	[--keep-old] [--description=xxx] [--test]
	[--remove] [--] filename 
make[1]: *** [install] Error 1 
make[1]: Leaving directory `/mnt/lfs/usr/src/bash-2.04/doc' 
make: [install] Error 2 (ignored)

then that means that you are probably using Debian, and that you have an old version of the texinfo package. This error is not severe by any means: the info pages will be installed when we recompile bash dynamically in chapter 6, so you can ignore it. You do, however, have to run the last two commands manually (the cd $LFS/bin and ln -s bash sh commands) because they won't be executed when the error occurs.

Command explanations

--enable-static-link: This configure option causes Bash to be linked statically

--prefix=$LFS/usr: This configure option installs all of Bash's files under the $LFS/usr directory, which becomes the /usr directory after the user chroot'ed into $LFS or when he rebooted the system into LFS.

--bindir=$LFS/bin: This installs the executable files in $LFS/bin. We do this because we want bash to be in /bin, not in /usr/bin. One reason being: the /usr partition might be on a separate partition which has to be mounted at some point. Before that partition is mounted a user needs and will want to have bash available (it will be hard to execute the boot scripts without a shell for instance).

--with-curses: This causes Bash to be linked against the curses library instead of the default termcap library which is becoming obsolete.

ln -s bash sh: This command creates the sh symlink that points to bash. Most scripts run themselves via 'sh' (invoked by the #!/bin/sh as the first line in the scripts) which invokes a special bash mode. Bash will then behave (as closely as possible) as the original Bourne shell.

The &&'s at the end of every line cause the next command to be executed only if the previous command exists with a return value of 0 indicating success. In case all of these commands are copy&pasted on the shell, is is important to be ensured that if ./configure fails, make isn't being executed and, likewise, if make fails, that make install isn't being executed, and so forth.


The Bash package contains the bash program


Bash is the Bourne-Again SHell, which is a widely used command interpreter on Unix systems. Bash is a program that reads from standard input, the keyboard. A user types something and the program will evaluate what he has typed and do something with it, like running a program.