2. Default Shell

Linux® users are often surprised to find that Bash is not the default shell in FreeBSD. In fact, Bash is not included in the default installation. Instead, FreeBSD uses tcsh(1) as the default root shell, and the Bourne shell-compatible sh(1) as the default user shell. sh(1) is very similar to Bash but with a much smaller feature-set. Generally shell scripts written for sh(1) will run in Bash, but the reverse is not always true.

However, Bash and other shells are available for installation using the FreeBSD Packages and Ports Collection.

After installing another shell, use chsh(1) to change a user's default shell. It is recommended that the root user's default shell remain unchanged since shells which are not included in the base distribution are installed to /usr/local/bin. In the event of a problem, the file system where /usr/local/bin is located may not be mounted. In this case, root would not have access to its default shell, preventing root from logging in and fixing the problem.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.
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