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OpenBSD Install BASH Shell Package Command

How do I install BASH shell package under OpenBSD operating system? How do I set bash as a default login shell under OpenBSD?

You need to use the pkg_add command to install BASH package which is available in a binary packages format over the Internet. You can also install bash package using OpenBSD CD.

First, Login as a root user, either use su - or sudo or doas command.

Next setup PKG_PATH using export command. You can make things really easy by using the PKG_PATH environment variable. Just point it to your favorite location, and pkg_add will automatically look there for any package you specify, and also fetch and install the necessary dependencies of this package automatically (see mirror list here).
$ export PKG_PATH=ftp://mirror.planetunix.net/pub/OpenBSD/`uname -r`/packages/`machine -a`/
Or add to your ~/.profile (sh/ksh/bash) file as follows:

echo 'export PKG_PATH=ftp://mirror.planetunix.net/pub/OpenBSD/`uname -r`/packages/`machine -a`/' >> ~/.profile

Caution: The PKG_PATH variable MUST end in a slash (/).

OpenBSD Install bash shell binary package

Use pkg_add command as follows (older version):
# pkg_add -i -v bash
OR on newer system:
# pkg_add -v bash
OR use doas as follows (if configured on your system):
$ doas -u root pkg_add -v bash
Sample outputs from OpenBSD 4.x:

parsing bash-3.2
Dependencies for bash-3.2 resolve to: gettext-0.14.6, libiconv-1.9.2p3 (todo: libiconv-1.9.2p3,gettext-0.14.6)
bash-3.2:parsing libiconv-1.9.2p3
bash-3.2:libiconv-1.9.2p3: complete                                                                                                                                           
bash-3.2:parsing gettext-0.14.6
Dependencies for gettext-0.14.6 resolve to: expat-2.0.0, libiconv-1.9.2p3 (todo: expat-2.0.0)
bash-3.2:parsing expat-2.0.0
bash-3.2:expat-2.0.0: complete                                                                                                                                                
bash-3.2:gettext-0.14.6: complete                                                                                                                                             
Shell /usr/local/bin/bash appended to /etc/shells
bash-3.2: complete

Sample outputs from OpenBSD 5.9 (please note that you no longer need to pass the -i option to OpenBSD):

Fig.01: Installing bash shell on OpenBSD 5.9

Fig.01: Installing bash shell on OpenBSD 5.9

To use bash shell, just enter bash command:

$ bash

How do I setup bash as a login and default shell for my account?

Type the following command to change the user’s shell to new shell called /usr/local/bin/bash (the following will change root shell to bash):
# chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash
Set bash shell as a default login shell for user nixcraft:
# chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash nixcraft

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Dirkgent2lyFebruary 18, 2009, 9:10 am

    Nice guide. Uh, how do you do this permanently?

  • Dirkgent2lyFebruary 20, 2009, 12:23 am

    ok, chsh did it for me:

    chsh -s bash


    chsh: warning, unknown root shell

    I had to logout and login again for it to take effect.

    To make known a bashrc, I added to ~/.profile

    source ~/.bashrc

    Good tutorials Vivec, always enjoy reading your posts.

  • The DoctorJune 13, 2009, 12:10 am

    Perfect installation, but any follow-up for setting bash color profiles? I’ve noticed 4.5 *doesn’t* like using .bashrc (GNU/Linux) opting for .bash_profile, nor do the numerous online Linux how-tos/guides (ie: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Color_Bash_Prompt) adapt themselves to OpenBSD.

    OpenBSD 4.5 w/ bash 3.2.48

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