How to know how many rows of code are there for a CLI shell, not counting empty lines?

The purpose of this question is to learn how I could count the rows of code for both sh and Bash CLI shells.

Given the kernel has about 15 million rows of code, I did have a wonder on the magnitude of rows of code for these 2 programs letting me interface with the kernel.

  • 2
    You would have to download the source for the shell in question. Then you could use a tool like cloc or similar to count the lines of code in it. – Eric Renouf Nov 24 '17 at 13:39

For the latest version of bash, i.e. bash v4.4, the answer is 134576. The command I use is

find . -name '*.[ch]' | xargs grep -v '^\s*$' | wc -l

find . -name '*.[ch]' means find files that has ends with .c or .h (not counting the .def, .po files although I think it's part of source code too)

in, grep -v '^\s*$' (historical note, change form [\s*] to \s*),

  • -v prints only the lines that do not match
  • ^ means line start
  • $ means line end
  • \s means whitespaces including space, tab, linefeed

so grep -v '^[\s]*$' excludes lines have only whitespaces and wc -l counts them.

There are many sh source codes, for UNIX v6 sh(https://etsh.io/history/sh.c). There are only 860 lines.

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  • [\s] means one character, either s or backslash. Grep does not use Perl regular expressions by default. For whitespace, use [[:space:]]. – Kusalananda Nov 24 '17 at 14:38
  • @Kusalananda GNU grep recognise \s by default. Using posix standardized [[:space:]] is more robust but less convenient. – frams Nov 24 '17 at 15:01
  • ggrep (GNU grep) 3.1 does not recognize \s inside [...] as anything else than the characters s or backslash. I guess you meant \s rather than [\s]. – Kusalananda Nov 24 '17 at 15:29
  • Amusingly, there actually are lines in that source tree that only contain backslashes, 29 of them, parts of macro definitions in include/shmbutil.h. And around 300 that only have whitespace. It doesn't change the final number by much though, but the pattern still doesn't do what you'd expect. – ilkkachu Nov 24 '17 at 17:41
  • Also, for some reason which I can't understand, using ^\s*$ or ^[[:space:]]*$ as the pattern seems about 10x slower than e.g. ^ *$. – ilkkachu Nov 24 '17 at 17:43

If I've understood correctly, then your friend is the command wc.

# cat example


# wc -l example
3 example

# grep -v "^$" example | wc -l

Or only with grep:

# grep -c . example

If there are multiple files. As an example with the bash sourcecode.

# wget -c https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bash/bash-4.4.tar.gz
# tar xfvz bash-4.4.tar.gz
# grep -R -c . bash-4.4/ | awk -F : '{sum += $2} END {print sum}'
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