To get help of bash builtins, just type help ..., for example, help [[ returns the help of [[ ... ]], but it doesn't work for job_spec and (( ... ))

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    the word job_spec doesn't appear in the bash manual. help '((' and help \(\( both work. Nov 29, 2015 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


For job_spec help, enter help %; For (( expression )) help, enter help '(('.


Only place that refers jobspec is chapter 7.2 Job Control Builtins of Bash Reference Manual. jobspec is just identifier of job. For example when I stop emacs and htop I'm getting the following output (first column is jobspec):

[1]+  Stopped                 emacs -nw
[2]+  Stopped                 htop

Now I can bring emacs to foreground by using its jobspec: fg 1.

In man jobs this is also called job id.


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