in reply to Re^2: The basics
in thread The basics

To the shell. [...] At least on unixish systems, there is always a shell involved in this process

The #! line, also called shebang, tells nothing to any shell. It's the kernel who interprets it. When the first two bytes of an executable file are #!, the kernel runs the command that follows them, with the parameters specified, and feeds it the whole file on its standard input:

$ cat > a #!/usr/bin/tail -n2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ^D $ chmod +x a $ ./a 6 7 $ strace ./a 2>&1 | grep -c sh 0

David Serrano