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)

Documenting scripts

Just as with any kind of programming, it's important to write some documentation to help your users understand and run your program, and to know all of its available features. We'll look at three documentation methods: writing comments, providing help output, and writing manual pages.

Writing comments

It's good practice to add comments to any code to explain what it's doing to the curious (or debugging) reader, and Bash is no exception. Keep your comments concise, up-to-date, and most of all, useful. Remember: don't just rephrase what the code is doing; explain why you're doing it, not just what it does.

Consider this comment and line of shell script:

# Loop to end of positional...