Current status of the Oil shell

Slippery Shell

© Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

© Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Article from Issue 229/2019

With its innovative scripting language, Oil, the Bash-compatible Oil shell aims to make life easier for script developers.

Developer Andy Chu is currently working on two construction sites at the same time: the Oil shell (OSH) and the Oil language. His work on OSH is already quite advanced, but, as of version 0.6.pre20, it only supports a subset of the Bash constructs. The Oil language, on the other hand, is still a work in progress.


A shell is a small program that uses text commands to control the system. Many shells also let you write scripts to automate processes. One of the best known and most common shells is the Bourne-Again Shell (Bash) [1]. The Oil shell is a Unix shell that is compatible with Bash.

According to Chu, OSH is already capable of processing the abuild shell script, which is over 2,500 lines long and builds the packages for the Alpine Linux distribution. OSH can also set up an Ubuntu base system via debootstrap and chroot into it.


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