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For a long time I have been wondering about the existence of many shells in GNU/Linux. To make the question a bit focused I have used only three shells - bash, dash and zsh.

From wikipedia articles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almquist_shell , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_shell , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_command_shells and other sources arguably, the modern bash seems to be the father of all shells.

There doesn't seem to be any coherent story which shares how all the shells started at various parts of time. Can anybody help out here sharing the motivations of various developers at specific points of time and issue they were trying to solve?

marked as duplicate by Gilles bash Oct 14 '14 at 1:00

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    Bash is by no means “the father of all shells”, it's just one among many. It's the most widely used, due to being the default on most Linux distributions. – Gilles Oct 14 '14 at 1:00
  • @Gilles, one may even say that it's rather the daughter of all shells since it borrowed most of its features from other shells (csh, tcsh, korn, zsh) and except for the readline library, I'm not sure it contributed any feature to other shells. – Stéphane Chazelas Apr 23 '15 at 11:27

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