April 13, 2005
"Learning the bash Shell, Third Edition": A Guide to Mastering the Command Line and More
Sebastopol, CA--As any good programmer knows, the first thing users of
Unix or Linux operating systems come face to face with is the shell.
"Shell" is the Unix term for a user interface to the system--something
that lets you communicate with the computer via the keyboard and display.
Shells are separate programs that encapsulate the system, and there are
many to choose from. The Bourne Again shell--or bash for short--is a
modern, general-purpose shell, freely available, and the shell of choice
for users of Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, and other popular systems.
Mastering the bash shell might sound fairly simple, but it isn't without
its complexities. Newly updated and refreshed to cover bash 3, Learning
the bash Shell, Third Edition (O'Reilly US $34.95) by Cameron Newham and Bill Rosenblatt is
the definitive guide to bash, encompassing everything from the most basic
to the more advanced features of the shell. The book is a valuable
tutorial for those who are interested in bash either as a user interface
or for its powerful programming capabilities. Newcomers will learn how to
use bash's advanced command-line features, such as command history,
command-line editing, and command completion, while the book offers
in-depth guidance for experienced bash users as well.
Learning the bash Shell also introduces shell programming, a skill no
Unix or Linux user should be without. Authors Newham and Rosenblatt guide
readers step-by-step through bash's programming features; readers learn
about flow control, signal handling, and command-line processing and I/O.
There is a complete chapter on debugging bash programs. And finally, the
book shows how to acquire, install, configure, and customize bash,
including expert advice for system administrators who manage bash for
their user communities.
This new edition covers all the features of bash Version 3.0, while still
applying to Versions 1.x and 2.x. It includes a debugger for the bash
shell, both as an extended example and as a useful piece of working code.
Since shell scripts are a significant part of many software projects,
Newham and Rosenblatt also discuss how to write maintainable shell
scripts. In addition, Learning the bash Shell deals with the many
features that have been introduced to bash over the years: one-dimensional
arrays, parameter expansion, pattern-matching operations, new commands,
and security improvements.
Unfailingly practical and packed with examples and questions for future
study, Learning the bash Shell, Third Edition is a valuable asset for
Linux and other Unix users.
Praise for the previous edition:
"This book is written for beginners and takes you from the basics all the
way to system administration. Even the old pros are likely to learn a
trick or two. It covers features of bash all the way to the, 'Wow, I
didn't know bash could do that!' level. The authors have provided tons of
examples from commands to scripts and the major scripts are available for
download from O'Reilly...If you just want to be comfortable using the
command line interface or want to go all the way to a working knowledge of
writing your own scripts and administering your system or a network, this
is the book for you...It's a must-have for anyone using Linux/UNIX. I give
'Learning the bash Shell' 5/5 Big Grins."
--USA Linux Users Group
"I purchased Learning the bash Shell in December of 2000, when I was
thrust into a Linux working environment and had no time to learn. From the
moment the book arrived from Fatbrain till now, Learning the bash Shell
has kept a place no further than arms-length from my computer. No other
technical book can say the same. Why have I found this book so useful?
Obviously my needs have changed, as I've progressed in skill. Initially, I
wanted to feel comfortable on the command line. Later on, I wanted to
learn some shell scripting. Learning the bash Shell taught me both."
--Meg Golding, linuxchix.org
"I really like this book. To learn bash, you just start at the beginning
of the book, read it in the order of its presentation, which is
well-organized in a tutorial sequence, and try out all the commands and
scripts the book gives as examples."
--Al Stevens, Dr Dobbs Journal
Further reviews of Learning the bash Shell can be found here.
Learning the bash Shell, Third Edition
Cameron Newham and Bill Rosenblatt
ISBN: 0-596-00965-8, 333 pages, $34.95 US, $48.95 CA
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