[TUHS] Shell control through external commands

Michael Kjörling michael at kjorling.se
Sat Sep 10 19:13:07 AEST 2016

On 10 Sep 2016 09:45 +0200, from dnied at tiscali.it (Dario Niedermann):
> Il 15/07/2016 alle 14:27, Norman Wilson ha scritto:
>> lu$ cat /bin/cd
>> #!/bin/sh
>> builtin cd "$@"
>> lu$ 
> But doesn't this change the current dir only in the child shell?
> Which then exits right after the second line, parent shell's $PWD
> unaffected. I really don't see how this script is useful.

It does appear rather useless. Curiously, Debian (checked on Wheezy =
bash 4.2+dfsg-0.1+deb7u3 and Jessie = bash 4.3-11+b1) seems to not
supply anything like that, so it would appear to be some kind of
Fedora-ism rather than a part of anything upstream; that, or the
Debian folks are actually paying attention to what they ship onto
users' systems.

Even more curious, check this out from Debian Wheezy (I suspect the
Jessie system would behave identically):

$ cat > /michael/home/bin/cd
builtin cd "$@"
$ chmod +x bin/cd
$ echo $PATH
$ type cd
cd is a shell builtin

so not even the shell will use the script in the first place!

If I force the shell to use the script I created (by saying ~/bin/cd
instead of just cd), after fixing /bin/sh to /bin/bash because when
run as sh the shell has no concept of "builtin", it behaves like you'd
expect: the working directory changes _within_ the script, but $PWD is
unchanged in the parent shell once the script finishes, turning it
into a somewhat expensive no-op.

Unless Fedora's shell has been specifically modified to pay attention
to the child process' $PWD, of course...

Michael Kjörling • https://michael.kjorling.semichael at kjorling.se
                 “People who think they know everything really annoy
                 those of us who know we don’t.” (Bjarne Stroustrup)

More information about the TUHS mailing list