shopt - Linux


The shopt command in Linux is used to toggle the behavior of the bash shell by setting or unsetting shell options. It can manipulate various shell properties to customize how the shell operates or interprets the commands. This command is particularly useful in scripting and can help in modifying shell behavior temporarily.


The basic syntax for using the shopt command is:

shopt [-pqsu] [-o] [optname ...]
  • -p: Display settings in a form that can be reused as input.
  • -q: Suppress all output.
  • -s: Enable (set) each specified option.
  • -u: Disable (unset) each specified option.
  • -o: Restrict options to those that are considered shell options during option processing.

If no options are given, or if -p is supplied, a list of all settable options and their current settings are displayed.



Display all shopt settings in a format that can be reused as input to the shell. When used with an optname, display only settings for that option.


Quiet mode; no output is shown. Useful for scripts where you only want to check the status of options without generating output.


Enable (set) the specified option(s). Typically used to turn on specific shell behaviors.


Disable (unset) the specified option(s). Typically used to turn off specific shell behaviors.


Consider only shell options (those that can also be set with the set command).


  1. List all available shell options:

  2. Enable command history expansion:

    shopt -s histexpand
  3. Disable filename generation using metacharacters (globbing):

    shopt -u noglob
  4. Check the current status of the dotglob setting quietly:

    shopt -q dotglob; echo $?

    The exit status ($?) indicates the setting (0 for set, 1 for unset).

  5. Set dotglob and extglob options in one command:

    shopt -s dotglob extglob

Common Issues

  • Options Not Persisting: Changes made by shopt are only effective for the current session. For persistent changes, add shopt commands to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile.
  • Script Behavior Changes: Scripts may behave differently when run in different environments if shopt settings are not consistent. It’s advisable to set or unset necessary options explicitly in scripts.


shopt can be combined with other commands for scripting. For example, to ensure a script handles dotfiles, enable dotglob before file manipulation commands:

shopt -s dotglob
cp -R ~/src/. ~/dest/
shopt -u dotglob
  • set: Another built-in shell command used to set and unset certain shell options and positional parameters.
  • bash: The shell environment where shopt operates.

For further reading and more detailed information, consult the bash man page (man bash) or the GNU Bash documentation online.