13.2. The History of the Shell
When AT&T software engineers Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson
were designing UNIX™, they wanted to create a way
for people to interact with their new system.
Operating systems at that time came with command interpreters, which
could take commands from the user and interpret them so that computers
could use them.
But Ritchie and Thompson wanted something more, something that
offered better features than the command interpreters available at that
time. This lead to the development of the Bourne shell (known as
sh), created by S.R. Bourne. Since the creation of
the Bourne shell, other shells have been developed, such as the C shell
(csh) and the Korn shell (ksh).
When the Free Software Foundation sought a royalty-free shell,
developers began to work on the language behind the Bourne shell as well
as some of the popular features from other shells available at the time.
The result was the Bourne Again Shell, or
bash. Although your Red Hat Linux system includes several
different shells, bash is the default shell for
interactive users. You can learn more about bash by
reading the bash man page (type man
bash at a shell prompt).