Book Image

Bash Quick Start Guide

By : Tom Ryder
Book Image

Bash Quick Start Guide

By: Tom Ryder

Overview of this book

Bash and shell script programming is central to using Linux, but it has many peculiar properties that are hard to understand and unfamiliar to many programmers, with a lot of misleading and even risky information online. Bash Quick Start Guide tackles these problems head on, and shows you the best practices of shell script programming. This book teaches effective shell script programming with Bash, and is ideal for people who may have used its command line but never really learned it in depth. This book will show you how even simple programming constructs in the shell can speed up and automate any kind of daily command-line work. For people who need to use the command line regularly in their daily work, this book provides practical advice for using the command-line shell beyond merely typing or copy-pasting commands into the shell. Readers will learn techniques suitable for automating processes and controlling processes, on both servers and workstations, whether for single command lines or long and complex scripts. The book even includes information on configuring your own shell environment to suit your workflow, and provides a running start for interpreting Bash scripts written by others.
Table of Contents (10 chapters)

Getting Bash

If you are running a GNU/Linux system, you almost certainly already have access to Bash. It is installed by default on almost every GNU/Linux computer system.

On such systems, it is very often the default login shell for users. This means that when a new user logs in for the first time, it's the first interactive program that runs, and it starts up to wait for command input from the user.

On some systems, such as Debian GNU/Linux, Bash will be the default login shell for non-system users, usually human beings rather than system processes, but a different shell, such as the POSIX shell or Bourne shell, will be used for system accounts.

Bash can be installed on other Unix-like systems as well, such as on FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, or proprietary versions of Unix. Even though Bash has such a strong history with GNU/Linux systems, administrators of these other systems often end up installing it, because it is so popular and many users will expect to be able to use it as their shell. It usually has to be installed as a separate package, and is not part of the default installation.

You can also build Bash from source on most Unix-like systems with access to a C compiler. Doing this is outside the scope of this book, and you should use your system's packages or ports system if you can. The Bash source code is available at