For several years I have been wondering why Apple ships new OS X releases with old version of Bash.

I came across the question Update bash to version 4.0 on OSX where there is a mention of problem with the fact that new bash is released under GPLv3. Is it true? If so, what problem has Apple with this license? There isn't any other GPLv3'd software in OSX?

closed as off-topic by bmike Oct 1 '15 at 15:00

  • This question does not appear to be about Apple hardware or software within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I've rolled back your edit. Discussions about differences between GPL licenses are off-topic on AD – nohillside Oct 1 '15 at 14:42
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because we generally close questions asking "Why does Apple do X?" as they are generally not practical minded and generally opinion based. We can discuss editing this on Ask Different Meta and please edit this if there is a practical question you are trying to fix. Apple's choices are well worth criticizing and discussing - just that we require it to be in the context of a question that's otherwise on topic. – bmike Oct 1 '15 at 15:00
up vote 8 down vote accepted
  1. Yes, newer versions of Bash are released under GPLv3
  2. This question brings out armchair lawyers that argue points for and against GPLv3. Simply put, GPLv3 conflicts with Apple's Licensing Policies (among other licenses). None of these licenses prevent you from downloading the source code and compiling a newer version of Bash. On a historical note, Bash was not originally offered as a shell in OS X.
  3. Apple does not supply any software under the GPLv3 license.
  • Makes me wonder why they don't just prepackage zsh instead, it's Apache 2 and more user-friendly. It's faster than bash too: unix.stackexchange.com/a/148098 (not 100% POSIX but they can leave bash 3 for those few system scripts that break without it). – Alexander Tsepkov Oct 6 '16 at 19:45
  • 2
    A bit late, but... macOS has had zsh installed by default for a very long time. It's been my default shell for a very long time as well, although I typically update to the slightly newer homebrew version. The one they provide is usually only a couple minor versions behind at most. – William T Froggard Oct 22 '17 at 11:40
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    @William T Froggard- zsh has been in macOS since 10.0 and in fact was used as sh in versions 10.0 and 10.1. – fd0 Oct 22 '17 at 12:43

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