Book Image

Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible - Third Edition

By : Richard Blum, Christine Bresnahan
Book Image

Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible - Third Edition

By: Richard Blum, Christine Bresnahan

Overview of this book

The Linux command line enables you to type specific shell commands directly into the system to manipulate files and query system resources. Command line statements can be combined into short programs called shell scripts, a practice increasing in popularity due to its usefulness in automation. Linux is a robust system with tremendous potential, and Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible opens the door to new possibilities. Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible is your essential Linux guide. It contains new functional examples that are fully updated to align with the latest Linux features. Beginning with command line fundamentals, the book moves into shell scripting and shows you the practical application of commands in automating frequently performed functions. This book is a complete guide providing detailed instruction and expert advice working within this aspect of Linux. Whether used as a tutorial or as a quick reference, this book contains information that every Linux user should know.
Table of Contents (34 chapters)
Part I: The Linux Command Line
Part II: Shell Scripting Basics
Part III: Advanced Shell Scripting
Part IV: Creating Practical Scripts
End User License Agreement

Setting the PATH Environment Variable

When you enter an external command (see Chapter 5) in the shell command line interface (CLI), the shell must search the system to find the program. The PATH environment variable defines the directories it searches looking for commands and programs. On this Ubuntu Linux system, the PATH environment variable looks like this:

$ echo $PATH

This shows that there are eight directories where the shell looks for commands and programs. The directories in the PATH are separated by colons.

If a command's or program's location is not included in the PATH variable, the shell cannot find it without an absolute directory reference. If the shell cannot find the command or program, it produces an error message:

$ myprog
-bash: myprog: command not found

The problem is that often applications place their executable programs in directories that aren't in the PATH...