Debian/Ubuntu use bash/dash and while you can use and have access to other shells, they don't work well with the kernel, so for booting up purposes, you have to have bash/dash. Are there any other shells which have been given the privileges that bash/dash has been given that there is a plethora of them around?

Also is there a feature that dash or bash has that make them the king of shells or not? I do know that bash, at least, is considered fat or bloatware a bit.


bash/dash are not predominant because of any special interaction with the kernel. The reason for their predominance over other options (e.g. csh variants such as tcsh, or other things like zsh) is just that both are sh-compatible, and the vast majority of shell scripts are written for that target. There's nothing that requires either bash or dash specifically; it's quite possible, for example, to make a distro based on Busybox that uses its ash, even for scripting purposes, and there are also distros which make zsh the default shell for interactive use even while retaining a different one as /bin/sh.

As regards "the king of shells", there's nothing too special here, I don't believe; it's just compatibility. This and the fact that bash is the GNU Project shell, and so gains some cachet by association.

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