There does not appear to be a "shell" tag! I realize that AskUbuntu is fairly GUI and newbie oriented but having no tag for one of the landmarks of Unix and Linux systems is frankly ridiculous.

I am not sure if I have enough Karma to edit or create new tags. I would appreciate if this omission can be remedied promptly.

Edit: There is a need for a generic shell tag to cover questions regarding shells in general without committing the user to a particular implementation. For eg:

Which config file to modify to affect the login shell of all users?

What is the difference between a login shell and an interactive shell?

Yes even the dreaded:

Which shell should I use?

P.S. To users voting up or down on this thread please consider adding a comment to explain your vote and opinion.

  • 5
    In short, no. This isn't needed which is why it doesn't exist. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 14:45
  • Why not just ask the question so we can tag it with the existing tags? Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 15:08
  • 1
    @MarcoCeppi Can you please expand on why you don't think this tag is needed?
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 0:10
  • What I think he @MarcoCeppi means is that if there were a significant amount of shell-related questions, then someone would have created the shell tag by now.
    – ananaso
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:37
  • @DaimyoKirby So the main support site for the most popular GNU/Linux distribution does not have a tag (and does not "need" one) for one of the landmark features of a Linux/UNIX system?
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 19:01
  • 1
    Well, Ubuntu, like you said in your post, is more focused on GUIs, so I think generally questions about shells would probably be better in the Unix & Linux Stack Exchange, since it's a landmark feature of Linux/Unix systems. I mean, they even already have a "shell" tag there.
    – ananaso
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 22:17
  • 1
    @DaimyoKirby And Ubuntu is not a GNU/Linux?
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 6:57
  • I never said that. Simply put (as others have said), there isn't a need for a generic "shell" tag, hence one not being created, and most people are going to use a more specific tag anyway. Bruno's answer is a pretty good explanation.
    – ananaso
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 13:09
  • To add to this, for most people who tag a question about the shell in general, use 'terminal', 'command-line' or 'command' not 'shell'.
    – Seth
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 18:47
  • 2
    @iSeth For most Linux users, due to historical reasons, there IS a distinction between a tty, terminal, virtual terminal and shell. If I am in a gui, I can open Gnome-terminal as a virtual terminal to use a shell. There is a big distinction in many users mind. tty1 (accessed via Alt-F1 or CTRL-ALT-F1 is a terminal (even I am not old enough to think of it as a "teletypewriter"), while zsh, tcsh and Bash are shells.
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 8:31

2 Answers 2


There is a tag, but it and are both aliased to . So anything you do in a script or on the command line in a terminal is captured under the same tag, which is rather crude. If your question is specific to a particular shell, there is , as well as and and even .

Ask Ubuntu tends to focus on the default interface and applications of Ubuntu. For advanced shell usage, on the command line or in scripts, you may find a better audience on our sister site Unix & Linux:

  • Thank you. I did not realize that tag was so popular on Unix&Linux. I do agree with you that while it maybe less popular here than on Unix&Linux, there really is a role for a distinct and separate shell tag right here on AskUbuntu. It maybe a good idea to emphasize this also in your answer similar to your comment on the other answer below. I do use Unix&Linux also, but that is not by itself a reason for dumbing down AskUbuntu. I continue to argue for a separate, distinct shell tag.
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 2:48
  • @Gilles How about basic shell usage questions, which have no Ubuntu specific element in it, should those questions be flagged as off-topic and become a candidate for moving to Unix/Linux?
    – Pro Backup
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 13:11
  • 1
    @ProBackup As long as the question applies to Ubuntu users, it's on-topic here. This site isn't only for questions that don't apply to Mint users. Questions are off-topic only if they don't apply to Ubuntu. Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 14:44

What is wrong with using , , ...?

If a question is too generic or opinion based ie: what is in your opinion the best shell?, then probably it does not really belong on the site. Being specific on what you are asking plays a really big role on the answers you will get on the site.

Never seen a user ask "Can you help me with this generic shell script". Probably he/she will ask "Can you help me with this (sh,bash,zsh...) issue?".

But then again, if necessary you can create your question and flag it for a moderator to review and add or remove tags as you decide it would be best, but if the tag is too generic, ie: a user following might not be interested in following , or similar, then probably your request will be ignored (not necessarily, we are open to suggestions).

After you gain some reputation on the site, you will have the chance to suggest and vote on the creation of new tags.

  • Does not work cleanly when one is talking generically or asking about shells.
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 13:25
  • As suggested: create your post using another tag and flag it for moderation explaining why to create a tag for it. If its useful we will be happy to create it for you. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 13:28
  • Maybe give an example of a question that would fit a "shell" tag in this post would give us an idea of what you are trying to achieve. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 13:28
  • BTW the site FAQ and instructions imply that anybody with > 300 reputation/Karma can create tags but the system does seem to still prevent me from doing so. Either extend me the privileges or else correct the FAQs/Instructions.
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 14:02
  • 6
    It can be that that tag was blacklisted to prevent users from using it. Again, without a clear usage scenario I cannot think of really any good usage for that tag. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 14:04
  • @haziz Just for reference, moderators (IIRC) cannot grant users extra permissions.
    – nanofarad
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 12:26
  • 1
    @ObsessiveSSOℲ I was not asking for extra permissions. I was just trying to figure out why I was unable to create the shell tag even though I had the requisite reputation (> 300).
    – haziz
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 12:44
  • 2
    How about asking your neighbor? shell is the third most popular tag on Unix & Linux. We do enforce the distinction between shell, command-line, bash, terminal, etc. AU and U&L have different audiences, so I'd expect it to be less popular here, but there's still room for shell questions. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 18:55

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