There are many of you out there always looking for another way to tweak your Linux computer to make it even faster. Well this is just one of my tips that will help speed up your overall system slightly. Most of you out there are probably using
bash as your Linux shell. This is fine, but there are other shells available that are faster, smaller, and use less system resources.
Everytime you login to your Linux system, open a terminal, execute a script, etc. you are opening up another Linux shell. Most of you Linux users are thinking it’s just a Linux shell, it doesn’t take up much resources, that’s true, but just think if you had 10 shells running. The system memory usage would increase a bit. Plus for those of you that don’t have faster computer hardware with tons of resources, we want to conserve as much RAM as possible.
So what can we do about all these Linux shells running eating up our system resources? We can install a lightweight shell and set it to be your default Linux shell. Let’s install
dash which is a replacement of
ash (Almquist Shell) which was a BSD-licensed replacement for the Bourne Shell that was used in low resource systems.
Depending on what Linux distro you are running, you may need to install
dash slightly differently. First lets install
emerge --sync && emerge dash
apt-get update && apt-get install dash
yum install dash
Now that you have
dash installed, we want to make
dash your default Linux shell. To do this first we want to open a terminal. Type
chsh and hit enter, now you should be asked what shell you want to use. Type
/bin/dash and hit enter. Any username you want to use the
dash shell, repeat the
chsh command and change your shell to
Now we want to change the symlink of
/bin/sh to point to
/bin/dash instead of
/bin/bash. To do this we must first delete the current symlink
/bin/sh. In your terminal, type
rm -f /bin/sh now we need to create a new symlink to
/bin/dash. To do this in your terminal type
ln -s /bin/dash /bin/sh and now you are done. Logout and log back in and all of your terminals and shells will be using
dash is a very lightweight Linux shell and does not have many features that
bash and some other Linux shells have.
dash does not support tab complete, so you can’t type
cd /us(TAB)sr(TAB)lin(TAB) and be taken to
dash does not support history either, so if you were just doing a bunch of long commands in a shell and didn’t want to retype them, just hit up a couple times and then hit enter, well you can’t with
dash, but you will notice your scripts running faster, terminals opening faster, less ram being used, etc.