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)


Functions are a much better way of defining your own commands for use on the Bash command line, and in Bash scripts. They can do everything aliases can, and more.

Well, almost everything. There are some niche tricks you can do with aliases and not functions alone, but they are essentially clever hacks and mostly a curiosity. Take a look at Simon Tatham's Magic Aliases article to learn more:

A great deal of what we discuss for functions will be applicable to the next section on scripts. There are some important differences in the way the two work, but they have a lot in common. We will highlight the similarities in the next section.

Defining functions