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i.e.

  • Using something like IPython, re.pl, or somesuch as a login shell, instead of bash/ksh/etc.
  • Using initscripts, etc. written in Python or some other scripting language, and making no use of shell scripts whatsoever
  • Not having any POSIX-compatible command shell installed

In other words I'm thinking of more a Windows-like approach, where the "CLI" is a REPL interface for a true scripting language (a la Powershell) that most programs are completely independent of.

Is this feasible? How reliant are Linux ports of desktop programs like Firefox, or web services like Apache, on having a working POSIX shell? How about the Linux kernel itself?

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    It's feasible, it's just going to be a whole lot more work than it's worth. I can't think of a single advantage to doing it this way. Firefox isn't reliant on bash at all and outside of the initscript, neither is Apache. – Bratchley Sep 25 '14 at 14:24
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I believe the Linux kernel does not depend on a POSIX shell, (though will look for the #! line when executing files).

I suspect it is possible to have a working Linux system, but most software will expect mostly POSIX-compliance, and desktop software will typically expect most of LSB (Linux Standard Base) compatibility too. Many applications, such as Firefox, use (POSIX) shell wrappers to run, so these will not work without modification.

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