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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?

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  • I've rolled back your edit. Discussions about differences between GPL licenses are off-topic on AD
    – nohillside
    Oct 1, 2015 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, 2015 at 15:00
  • "off topic" AAAAHAHAHAHAH suck different. Just say it like it is. "Apple does not like Free software or has commercial motivations not to do so". on topic: "Apple software" apple.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic facepalm Nov 4, 2021 at 14:54

1 Answer 1

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  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.
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    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). Oct 6, 2016 at 19:45
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    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. Oct 22, 2017 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, 2017 at 12:43
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    2019 here, macOS Catalina now defaults to zsh: support.apple.com/en-us/HT208050
    – Unapiedra
    Jun 4, 2019 at 1:05
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    @FranklinYu I think the original question was off-topic on this site ("Why did Apple do something?"), although I'd also like to know this. On iOS the violations are clear, but not on macOS. Jun 19, 2019 at 19:09

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