Book Image

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook, Second Edition - Second Edition

Book Image

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook, Second Edition - Second Edition

Overview of this book

The shell remains one of the most powerful tools on a computer system — yet a large number of users are unaware of how much one can accomplish with it. Using a combination of simple commands, we will see how to solve complex problems in day to day computer usage.Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook, Second Edition will take you through useful real-world recipes designed to make your daily life easy when working with the shell. The book shows the reader how to effectively use the shell to accomplish complex tasks with ease.The book discusses basics of using the shell, general commands and proceeds to show the reader how to use them to perform complex tasks with ease.Starting with the basics of the shell, we will learn simple commands with their usages allowing us to perform operations on files of different kind. The book then proceeds to explain text processing, web interaction and concludes with backups, monitoring and other sysadmin tasks.Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook, Second Edition serves as an excellent guide to solving day to day problems using the shell and few powerful commands together to create solutions.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook
About the Authors
About the Reviewers

Creating a "define" utility by using the Web backend

There are a lot of dictionaries on the Web that offer APIs that can be used to get a machine-readable definition of words. Let us use one of the APIs and see how to write a define script.

Getting ready

We are going to use curl, sed, and grep to write the define utility. There are a lot of dictionary websites, where you can register and use their APIs for personal use for free. In this example, we are using Merriam-Webster's dictionary API. Please perform the following steps:

  1. Go to, and register an account for yourself. Select Collegiate Dictionary and Learner's Dictionary:

  2. Log in using the newly created account and go to My Keys to access the keys. Note down the key for the learner's dictionary:

How to do it...

Let's go through the code for the define utility script:

#Desc: A script to fetch definitions from


if  [ $# ...