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Practical Linux by Bill Ball, John Ray, Michael Turner, M. Drew Streib

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Chapter 21. Basic Shell Programming

  • What shell scripts are used for

  • Writing shell programs

  • Using shell variables

  • Using shell constructs

  • Writing shell functions

The part of any system that interprets keyboard or mouse commands is called the shell. Under MS-DOS, for example, the shell is called COMMAND.COM; under Windows 95/98, the graphical shell is called EXPLORER.EXE. Under most UNIX systems, users have their choice of shells in both the graphical and text-mode environments.

The most popular Linux shell is bash. This stands for Bourne Again Shell, and is named after one of the original UNIX shell designers. bash has a lighter relative, ash, which lacks some features such as command-line histories, but requires substantially less memory and is therefore ...

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