This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.
Each variable or function specified by name shall be unset.
If −v is specified, name refers to a variable name and the shell shall unset it and remove it from the environment. Read-only variables cannot be unset.
If −f is specified, name refers to a function and the shell shall unset the function definition.
If neither −f nor −v is specified, name refers to a variable; if a variable by that name does not exist, it is unspecified whether a function by that name, if any, shall be unset.
Unsetting a variable or function that was not previously set shall not be considered an error and does not cause the shell to abort.
The unset special built-in shall support the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines.
is not equivalent to an unset of VARIABLE; in the example, VARIABLE is set to "". Also, the variables that can be unset should not be misinterpreted to include the special parameters (see Section 2.5.2, Special Parameters).
Consideration was given to omitting the −f option in favor of an unfunction utility, but the standard developers decided to retain historical practice.
The −v option was introduced because System V historically used one name space for both variables and functions. When unset is used without options, System V historically unset either a function or a variable, and there was no confusion about which one was intended. A portable POSIX application can use unset without an option to unset a variable, but not a function; the −f option must be used.
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at http://www.unix.org/online.html .
Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page are most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source files to man page format. To report such errors, see https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/reporting_bugs.html .