Syntax Errors Running sh Scripts on Ubuntu

Normally, I install programs from the Ubuntu repositories but today I needed to install a VPN client from a tarball using a shell script. When I ran the included file, I got a couple syntax errors: 22: function: not found 24: Syntax error: “}” unexpected

Looking inside the script, I saw that it runs /bin/sh. Nothing unusual there. Well, it turns out that on Ubuntu, sh is a symlink to dash. Apparently, since the Edgy version of Ubuntu, sh has been pointing to dash and causing various compatibility problems with custom scripts meant for sh. I’m running Gutsy so my sh points to dash as well.

Two quick ways to fix the problem is to either change #!/bin/sh in the script file to #!/bin/bash (which I did) or change the symlink for /bin/sh to point to bash instead of dash. I may opt for the latter but the former worked just fine to get my VPN client installed.