Zac Anger's Blog

bash builtins


Tags: bash, shell, sh, unix, linux, disaster-recovery

Let's say that in some hypothetical horrible world, we have a system with no utilities, except the shell we're using, which happens to be GNU Bash. Maybe we were dumb and did something like rm -rf --no-preserve-root /, I don't know. Here's how we can get some basic programs back, just by using Bash builtins.

type still exists!

We need an ls. So, echo 'ls() { printf '%s\n' ${1:+${1%/}/}*; }' >>


Here's a rough cat: (while read line; do echo "$line"; done) < stuff.txt

executable () { if [[ ( ! -d $1 ) && ( ! -h $1 ) && -x $1 ]] ; then echo "$1"; fi }

To find executables: for file in /*; do executable $file; done.

Wanna just lock ourselves out for real? echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq echo "b" > /proc/sysrq-trigger. go here, if we really must rescue a system and have no other options.