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)

Stopping a command list on error

Most of the time when programming in Bash, you will not actually want to test $? directly, but instead test it implicitly as success or failure, with language features in Bash itself.

If you wanted to issue a set of commands on one command line, but only to continue if every command worked, you would use the double-ampersand (&&) control operator, instead of the semicolon (;):

$ cd && rmdir ~/nonexistent && ls

When we run this command line, we see that the final ls never runs, because the rmdir command before it failed:

rmdir: failed to remove '/home/user/nonexistent': No such file or directory

Similarly, if we changed the cd command at the start of the command line to change into a directory that didn't exist, the command line would stop even earlier:

bash$ cd ~/nonexistent && rmdir ~/nonexistent...