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)

What this book covers

Chapter 1, What is Bash?, opens the book by giving a clear definition of what the Bash shell actually is, where it fits in with other programs on a Unix system, and how to find and (if necessary) install it on your system.

Chapter 2, Bash Command Structure, looks at the anatomy of Bash command lines, starting with simple single commands and arguments, and moves on through running multiple commands, and good quoting practices for data.

Chapter 3, Essential Commands, examines a list of common commands useful in Bash command lines and scripts, explaining the situations in which each is useful and how to use them; listing, searching, sorting, and slicing data are all discussed.

Chapter 4, Input, Output, and Redirection, extends our new basic command structure knowledge to show how to specify where data for commands to read comes from, and where it goes toincluding "piping" one command's output into another command, and filtering it in between.

Chapter 5, Variables and Patterns, explains and demonstrates how Bash's variable assignment and expansion works for both simple variables and arrays, how to transform strings conveniently with parameter expansion, and how to use patterns to match and specify lists of files.

Chapter 6, Loops and Conditionals, shows how to run the same set of commands on every item of a list of shell words or lines, and how to run commands only if a certain expression is true or false.

Chapter 7, Scripts, Functions, and Aliases, builds on our new knowledge of shell grammar and common commands to start writing your own commands, implemented in the Bash programming language and executable from anywhere on your computer.

Chapter 8, Best Practices, ends the book with some important hints, tips, and techniques for writing robust and readable shell script that will set you on the path to becoming a true shell scripting expert.