Does Not Begin With Bash

How To Articles

Have you ever encountered the error message “does not begin with bash” when trying to run a script in a Unix-like operating system? I certainly have, and let me tell you, it can be quite perplexing at first. But fear not, because in this article, I’m going to delve into this error, explore its causes, and provide solutions to help you overcome it.

Understanding the Error

When you encounter the “does not begin with bash” error, it typically means that the shebang line in your script is referencing an incorrect or non-existent path to the Bash interpreter.

What is a Shebang Line?

The shebang line is the first line in a script and starts with #!/ followed by the path to the interpreter. For example, a typical shebang line for a Bash script would be #!/bin/bash. This line informs the system which interpreter to use when executing the script.

Possible Causes of the Error

There are a few common reasons why you might encounter the “does not begin with bash” error:

  1. Incorrect Path: The shebang line might contain an incorrect path to the Bash interpreter, leading to the error.

  2. Missing Bash Installation: If Bash is not installed in the specified path, the shebang line will fail to locate the interpreter.

  3. File Corruption: In some cases, file corruption can cause the shebang line to become garbled, resulting in the error.

Resolving the Issue

Now that we understand the potential causes of the error, let’s discuss how to resolve it.

Check the Shebang Line

Start by examining the shebang line in your script. Ensure that it specifies the correct path to the Bash interpreter. You can use the which bash command in your terminal to find the correct path and update the shebang line accordingly.

Verify Bash Installation

If the shebang line contains the correct path, verify that Bash is installed in that location. You can do this by running the ls command in the specified path to check for the existence of the Bash binary.

Recreate the Shebang Line

If you suspect file corruption, consider recreating the shebang line. Open your script in a text editor, delete the existing shebang line, and type a new one specifying the path to the Bash interpreter.


Encountering the “does not begin with bash” error can be frustrating, but with a clear understanding of its causes and solutions, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve the issue. Whether it’s a simple typo in the shebang line or a missing Bash installation, taking the time to investigate and address the error will ultimately save you time and frustration in the long run.