Bash 5.1, described as the fifth major release of the Unix and Linux shell in a release bulletin, was published earlier this month, featuring a return to Bash 4.4 behavior regarding pathname expansion.

Called the most significant change in the new release, the return to Bash 4.4 behavior involves not performing pathname expansion on a word that contains backslashes but does not contain unquoted globbing special characters. The Bash 5.1 release also introduces changes in trap handling while reading from the terminal, and it fixes a number of bugs including several that caused the shell to crash.

Bash 5.1 can be downloaded from the main GNU server. Elsewhere in Bash 5.1:

  • The addition of “faces” in Readline highlights text between the point and mark. This was added to show the text inserted by bracketed paste and also marks the text found by incremental and non-incremental history searches.
  • A new variable, SRANDOM, gets its random data from the system’s entropy engine and is not linear and cannot be reseeded to get an identical random sequence.
  • New parameter transformation operators.
  • A new version of the standalone Readline library, version 8.1, is available, with its own scripts and Makefiles, at the master branch of the GNU Git readline repository.

Bash is the GNU Project Bourne Again Shell, an implementation of the POSIX shell specification, but with capabilities such as interactive command line editing and job control.

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