Backslash will suppress alias expansion, ie it executes the original command and makes sure that alias version does not run. Scripts can unknowingly run with alias expansion when the system has set
shopt -s expand_aliases (BASH only) or if it is executed using
./conda.sh # usually no alias expansion (unless `shopt -s expand_aliases` in BASH)
source ./conda.sh # alias expansion
. ./conda.sh # alias expansion
Some sysadmins like to put backslash in everything as a preventive measure against side-effects of aliases, just in case it was aliased unintentionally somewhere else and the alias gets expanded as explained previously. For example, if the system has set this
alias dirname='dirname -z' somewhere and the condition allows the alias to be expanded, then a script that tries to call dirname will unfortunately call
dirname -z instead, which was not the script intended.
If there's certainty that such alias do not exist, we can remove all the backslash and it should work fine.
Alternatively, one can use
command instead of backslash version to suppress alias. Thus, instead of
\dirname, one can use
command dirname, which might look more readable. (For built-in commands like
cd, one should use
builtin instead). I prefer this instead, as it also bypasses function with same name as well as any aliases.