1. an entire system; used in the phrase `the whole shebang';
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Shebang \She*bang"\, n. [Cf. Shebeen.]
1. A jocosely depreciative name for a dwelling or shop; a
primitive dwelling; a shanty. [Slang, U.S.]
2. The structure of an object, process, organization, or
anything viewed as complicated; -- used primarily in the
the whole shebang; as, it comes with unnecessary frills,
but you have to buy the whole shebang. [informal]
3. (computers) [Possibly derived from shell bang; the
character ! is referred to in some computer contexts as
bang.] The character sequence #!, which frequently begins
shell scripts in a Unix system.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: an entire system; used in the phrase `the whole shebang'
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
[possibly a portmanteau of ?sharp bang?] The character sequence ?#!? that
frequently begins executable shell scripts under Unix. Probably derived
from ?shell bang? under the influence of American slang ?the whole shebang?
(everything, the works).
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
(Or "shebang line", "bang path")
/sh*-bang'/ (From "sharp" and "bang") The magic cookie
"#!" used in Unix to mark the start of a script, e.g. a
shell script or Perl script.
Under Unix, if the first two bytes of an executable file
are "#!", the kernel treats the file as a script rather than
a machine code program. The word following the "!" (i.e.,
everything up to the first whitespace) is used as the
pathname of the interpreter. For example, if the first
line of an executable is
the script will be treated as a Perl script and passed as an
argument to /usr/local/bin/perl to be interpreted. Some
variants of Unix also allow one or more parameters to be
passed to the interpreter, for example, you can write
and the script will be started as if you typed
on the command line. Also, most modern kernels ignore any
whitespace between the "!" and the interpreter pathname. Even
some modern kernels have fairly small limits (e.g. 32) on the
length of line they will accept, making long pathnames and
arguments somewhat unportable.
[Does anyone call this a "magic string"?]