Special command descriptions
The Bourne shell provides the following special built-in commands.
|:||Returns a zero exit value.|
|. File||Reads and runs commands from the File parameter and returns. Does not start a subshell. The shell uses the search path specified by the PATH variable to find the directory containing the specified file.|
|break [ n ]||Exits from the enclosing for, while, or until command loops, if any. If you specify the n variable, the break command breaks the number of levels specified by the n variable.|
|continue [ n ]||Resumes the next iteration of the enclosing for, while, or until command loops. If you specify the n variable, the command resumes at the nth enclosing loop.|
|cd Directory ]||Changes the current directory to Directory.
If you do not specify Directory, the value of the HOME shell
variable is used. The CDPATH shell variable defines
the search path for Directory. CDPATH is
a colon-separated list of alternative directory names. A null path
name specifies the current directory (which is the default path).
This null path name appears immediately after the equal sign in the
assignment or between the colon delimiters anywhere else in the path
list. If Directory begins with a slash (
Note: The restricted shell cannot run the cd shell command.
|echo String . . . ]||Writes character strings to standard output. See the echo command for usage and parameter information. The -n flag is not supported.|
|eval [ Argument . . . ]||Reads arguments as input to the shell and runs the resulting command or commands.|
|exec [ Argument . . . ]||Runs the command specified by the Argument parameter in place of this shell without creating a new process. Input and output arguments can appear, and if no other arguments appear, cause the shell input or output to be modified. This is not recommended for your login shell.|
|exit [ n ]||Causes a shell to exit with the exit value specified by the n parameter. If you omit this parameter, the exit value is that of the last command executed (the Ctrl-D key sequence also causes a shell to exit). The value of the n parameter can be from 0 to 255, inclusive.|
|export [ Name . . . ]||Marks the specified names for automatic export to the environments of subsequently executed commands. If you do not specify the Name parameter, the export command displays a list of all names that are exported in this shell. You cannot export function names.|
|hash [ -r ][ Command . . . ]||Finds and remembers the location
in the search path of each Command specified. The -r flag
causes the shell to forget all locations. If you do not specify the
flag or any commands, the shell displays information about the remembered
commands in the following format:
|pwd||Displays the current directory. See the pwd command for a discussion of command options.|
|read [ Name . . . ]||Reads one line from standard input. Assigns the first word in the line to the first Name parameter, the second word to the second Name parameter, and so on, with leftover words assigned to the last Name parameter. This command returns a value of 0 unless it encounters an end-of-file character.|
|readonly [ Name . . . ]||Marks the name specified by the Name parameter as read-only. The value of the name cannot be reset. If you do not specify any Name, the readonly command displays a list of all read-only names.|
|return [ n ]||Causes a function to exit with a return value of n. If you do not specify the n variable, the function returns the status of the last command performed in that function. This command is valid only when run within a shell function.|
|set [ Flag [ Argument ] . . . ]||Sets one or more of the following
Using a plus sign (
Any Argument to
the set command becomes a positional parameter
and is assigned, in order, to
|shift [n]||Shifts command line arguments to the left; that
is, reassigns the value of the positional parameters by discarding
the current value of $1 and assigning the value of $2 to $1,
of $3 to $2, and so on. If there are more than 9 command
line arguments, the 10th is assigned to $9 and any
that remain are still unassigned (until after another shift).
If there are 9 or fewer arguments, the shift command unsets
the highest-numbered positional parameter that has a value.
The $0 positional parameter is never shifted. The shift n command is a shorthand notation specifying n number of consecutive shifts. The default value of the n parameter is 1.
|test Expression | [ Expression ]||Evaluates conditional expressions. See the test command for a discussion of command flags and parameters. The -h flag is not supported by the built-in test command in bsh.|
|times||Displays the accumulated user and system times for processes run from the shell.|
|trap [ Command ] [ n ] . . .||Runs the command specified by the Command parameter
when the shell receives the signal or signals specified by the n parameter.
The trap commands are run in order of signal number.
Any attempt to set a trap on a signal that was ignored on entry to
the current shell is ineffective.
Note: The shell scans the Command parameter once when the trap is set and again when the trap is taken.If you do not specify a command, then all traps specified by the n parameter are reset to their current values. If you specify a null string, this signal is ignored by the shell and by the commands it invokes. If the n parameter is zero (0), the specified command is run when you exit from the shell. If you do not specify either a command or a signal, the trap command displays a list of commands associated with each signal number.
|type [Name . . . ]||Indicates how the shell would interpret it as a command name for each Name specified.|
|ulimit [-HS] [ -c | -d | -f | -m | -r | -s | -t |-u] [limit]||Displays or adjusts allocated shell
resources. The shell resource settings can be displayed either individually
or as a group. The default mode is to display resources set to the
soft setting, or the lower bound, as a group.
The setting of shell resources depends on the effective user ID of the current shell. The hard level of a resource can be set only if the effective user ID of the current shell is root. You will get an error if you are not root user and you are attempting to set the hard level of a resource. By default, the root user sets both the hard and soft limits of a particular resource. The root user should therefore be careful in using the -S, -H, or default flag usage of limit settings. Unless you are a root user, you can set only the soft limit of a resource. After a limit has been decreased by a nonroot user, it cannot be increased, even back to the original system limit.
To set a resource limit, select the appropriate flag and the limit value of the new resource, which should be an integer. You can set only one resource limit at a time. If more than one resource flag is specified, you receive undefined results. By default, ulimit with only a new value on the command line sets the file size of the shell. Use of the -f flag is optional.
You can specify the following ulimit command flags:
|umask [nnn]||Determines file permissions. This value, along with the permissions of the creating process, determines a file's permissions when the file is created. The default is 022. When no value is entered, umask displays the current value.|
|unset [Name . . .]||Removes the corresponding variable or function for each name specified by the Name parameter. The PATH, PS1, PS2, MAILCHECK, and IFS shell variables cannot be unset.|
|wait [n]||Waits for the child process whose process number is specified by the n parameter to exit and then returns the exit status of that process. If you do not specify the n parameter, the shell waits for all currently active child processes, and the return value is 0.|