mysterious bash problem

Fergus Henderson
Thu Jan 15 07:26:00 GMT 1998

On 13-Jan-1998, Earnie Boyd <> wrote:
> Ulrich Lauther <> writes:
> >
> >Let foo be a valid shell script (starting with a ":" in the first line,
> >BTW):
> To execute a script the first non-blank line must begin with
> #! /bin/sh
> where /bin/sh is the path and shell you want to execute.

I think you're missing some history.  Using `:' in the first line to
identify a Bourne shell script (as opposed to `#', for a C-shell script)
actually predates the `#!' convention.

If gnu-win32 doesn't support execution of shell scripts starting with
`:', then this is a bug in gnu-win32.  It works fine with other Unix
systems, including Linux.

In any case, the form of the error message

> >bash.exe: ./foo: (null)

is clearly a bug.

Fergus Henderson <>   |  "I have always known that the pursuit
WWW: < >   |  of excellence is a lethal habit"
PGP: finger fjh@         |     -- the last words of T. S. Garp.
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