Are there any sources for documentation for old versions of some GNU software, in this case particularly bash?

I have a embedded system that is running bash 3.00.16, and I'm trying to do some shell scripting, and things are not working as expected (no process substitution, apparently).

Furthermore, since this is an embedded system, I don't have man or info, so there is really no help available on the system.

Is there anywhere I can view the documentation for older versions of bash as they were for various releases?

  • bash 3.0 had process substitution: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/49918/…. Are you sure you have #!/bin/bash and not #!/bin/sh for your shebang?
    – jordanm
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 20:32
  • @jordanm - I was thinking about that. help returns GNU bash, version 3.00.16(2)-release (i486-slackware-linux-gnu)
    – Fake Name
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 20:48
  • @jordanm - However, echo <(ls) returns -sh: syntax error near unexpected token `('. It works on a new machine, though
    – Fake Name
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 20:49
  • @jordanm - aaaarrrrgghhhh, I somehow wasn't in bash. This is over SSH. I'm a flaming idiot.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 20:50
  • The prompt for sh and bash looks identical on the device, though. I'm used to it having a distinct prompt.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


The documentation for bash is shipped in the bash-doc tarball. You can view the old versions by downloading the tarball from the GNU Project Archives.

  • Thanks, this was surprisingly hard to find. Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 14:52
  • @PaulHodges glad the link still works 10 years later!
    – jordanm
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 15:41

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