Chapter 8. Shaking Hands with Your Shell

“In the beginning was the command line,” sayeth Neal Stephenson in his wonderful essay on the history of computer operating systems. And so it is true. The easiest and fastest way to get things done in Linux is directly from the command line, called the shell. Why a shell? If the heart of the operating system is the kernel of the nut, clearly you have to crack the shell to get at it.

The point-and-click graphical interface is easy, once you’ve learned it. Yet there is so much power behind a couple of keystrokes in the shell that it’s sometimes hard ...

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