Subject: Re: default shell for SH
To: grant beattie <>
From: Eric Boutilier <Eric.Boutilier@Sun.COM>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 03/04/2005 10:37:42
On Fri, 4 Mar 2005, grant beattie wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 03, 2005 at 01:06:27PM -0600, Eric Boutilier wrote:
>> First, I'm happy to report that in the window manager category
>> pkgsrc can cleanly build fvwm2, windowmaker, and fluxbox on my
>> Solaris 10 PC -- completely hands-free. (Such "news" is probably
>> a yawner to most people here, but I for one still find all this
>> quite remarkable!)
> :-)
>> I did have to make one tiny "update" to to get fluxbox
>> to build. Otherwise, it dumps a /bin/ksh core part way through
>> the build (right after compiling ToolFactory.o).
>> I figured out the work-around is to change SH?= /bin/ksh to
>> SH?= /bin/bash in Then, instead of changing it back,
>> I left it that way with no problems so far.
> hmm, that is strange. I wonder what is triggering this and making ksh
> die.
> side: perhaps a simpler alternative to modifying is to simply
> override the value of SH in mk.conf.

Good point.

>> I looked at the other platform mk files and using /bin/ksh is the
>> exception -- most seem to be using /bin/sh -- which is probably
>> bash on BSD and Linux systems, and maybe some UNIX systems too.
> this was changed to ksh some time ago because the demand for ksh by
> some GNU configure scripts was overwhelming.

I'm not sure I understand. If the demand for ksh is so strong,
why do most configs in mk/platform have: SH?=/bin/sh ?

>> Can we do the same for bash? I guess it would look like this:
>> --------
>> .if exists(/bin/bash)
>> SH?=         /bin/bash
>> .else
>> SH?=         /bin/ksh
>> .endif
>> --------
> perhaps we can override this on a per-pkg basis. I haven't come across
> too many packages which have this problem, and while I don't have
> numbers, I suspect bash incurs quite an overhead compared to ksh. on
> the other hand, if the difference is not significant, then this might
> be ok.

Yes, I agree, especially If we decide that the problem will likely
go away when Solaris' version of /bin/ksh gets updated.

Also, I just built pdksh on my system with no problems,
so maybe another good option is for Solaris users to set
'SH=/usr/pkg/bin/pdksh' in mk.conf...

> I should read up on the deficiencies of bash compared to ksh, as I
> know historically bash has had some ... interesting .. semantics.
>> Finally, I have a protocol question. In the future, for this
>> kind of thing, should I do this first (open a discussion here)
>> and maybe open a PR later? Or should I just open a PR? Or do both
>> in parallel?
> opening a PR ensures that the issue won't be forgotten about, and
> acts as a central point of reference, so I'm in favour of doing both
> if there is discussion to be had.

OK, thanks.