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Classic Shell Scripting: Hidden Commands that Unlock the Power of Unix [Paperback]

Arnold Robbins , Nelson H. F. Beebe
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 May 2005 0596005954 978-0596005955 1

Shell scripting skills never go out of style. It's the shell that unlocks the real potential of Unix. Shell scripting is essential for Unix users and system administrators-a way to quickly harness and customize the full power of any Unix system. With shell scripts, you can combine the fundamental Unix text and file processing commands to crunch data and automate repetitive tasks. But beneath this simple promise lies a treacherous ocean of variations in Unix commands and standards. Classic Shell Scripting is written to help you reliably navigate these tricky waters.Writing shell scripts requires more than just a knowledge of the shell language, it also requires familiarity with the individual Unix programs: why each one is there, how to use them by themselves, and in combination with the other programs. The authors are intimately familiar with the tips and tricks that can be used to create excellent scripts, as well as the traps that can make your best effort a bad shell script. With Classic Shell Scripting you'll avoid hours of wasted effort. You'll learn not only write useful shell scripts, but how to do it properly and portably.The ability to program and customize the shell quickly, reliably, and portably to get the best out of any individual system is an important skill for anyone operating and maintaining Unix or Linux systems. Classic Shell Scripting gives you everything you need to master these essential skills.


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Classic Shell Scripting: Hidden Commands that Unlock the Power of Unix + sed and awk Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) + bash Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (26 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596005954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596005955
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

officially our new favourite text...it’s a jazzy, practical and fascinating book that totally took us by surprise. -- Linux Format Magazine, September 2005 - Paul Hudson

Book Description

Automate the Routine, Master the Machine

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide to the POSIX shell 9 April 2007
Format:Paperback
This is a very good introduction to the POSIX shell, as used on various Unix and Linux operating systems. The book covers the basics of how a shell works, how it can be used to write scripts and the standard Unix tool-kit that can be used to do powerful things quickly and easily.

The book is grounded in POSIX tools so does not take advantage of features present in the very latest Bash, Korn and Z shells, but it does mention that sometimes if you are willing to trade portability you can do things easier and quicker.

The book does not require a deep understanding of the Unix philosophy, but it does help to have used the basic Unix/Linux tools in the past. As well as shell, the book covers the standard tool-kit such as cut, head, tail, grep, sed and a large chunk of awk.

The book is well written and organised, and there are plenty of code snippets and explanations to keep you going. The book does not really cover the interactive use of shell, it really is all about scripting with shell as the title suggests.

If I have one problem with the book it is that there is an almost pathological avoidance of the dynamic languages such as Perl, Python and Ruby. Some of the longer shell examples would have been much better written in a more complete language such as Perl which are better suited to the larger tasks that shell is not designed for.

Combined with a good introductory books such as "Learning the Bash Shell" or "Learning the Korn Shell" you are well on the way to driving a Unix/Linux system without a mouse!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're like me then you've bought a few UNIX books and are none the wiser as you seem to be on the outside looking in at some 6th-form science club. You are, however , 'in IT' and have to get to understand shell-scripting rather than just copy other peoples code. Get this book. It's normal !! It achieves twin aims of covering the subject in depth and being easy to understand. It covers shell scripting very well ( all the curly brackets stuff as well as some very simple , but extremely useful , sed and awk code); it also covers all the usual UNIX stuff - it is entirely self contained. 'UNIX shell commands plus scripting' would be a better , if less snappy , title. I don't usually 'do' reviews - this is , however, a deserved exception.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is well paced and written. The authors manage to write in a very approachable way without missing any of the essential, and without patronising the reader.

The title may mislead some into thinking that this book covers only scripting or is not suitable for starting to learn the *NIX shells. Nothing could be further from the truth. Taking the reader through the classic tools of unix, the authors then show how to bring those tools together and how to build continually more complex programs.

Also appreciated are the examples throughout the book. These examples, unlike some similar titles, are there in just the right amount. You don't feel swamped by pages and pages of code, nor lost with nothing to demonstrate what is being said. The examples are always relevant, allowing you to learn important principles and start writing your own code.

Overall, even if advanced users might not benefit as much from this book, it is still highly recommended read for anybody interested in using the power of the unix shell, either totally new users to the command line, or seasoned users with more experience. And surprisingly, This book remains accessible to both.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It does what it says on the tin, not a bad book to circumnavigate and it will help both those new to the field as well as older hacks who just want to improve their scripting or start using additional functions that up to now they were either ignorant of or didn't know the best way to code it into their shell scripts. It will never beat hands on experience and disseminating working scripts as a learning tool in this trade (which is how I originally learned to script) but otherwise is a great handbook.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shell scripting as an introduction to Linux 16 Sep 2005
Format:Paperback
This is a great book. I found the writing clear and precise and as a general introduction to all things Unix and Linux invaluable. The aim as stated by the authors is to be able to write clear, secure, cross platform scripts for any Unix system.
I would also recommend that as a starting point for any new Linux user just getting beyond the X interface into the shell. I wish I had this when I started on Linux.
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