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on 5 August 2013
This book introduces the bash shell and many of the linux utilities that can be run from the bash prompt. I would regard the book as a supplement to the manuals for bash and the utilities. These manuals are available on the web and contain comprehensive details of the syntax of bash commands/utilities and of various options available. These manuals contain so much detail that a less experienced user will be unable to understand what is important or what can be done because he has been overloaded with detail.

This book is a solution to this overload problem. It
* provides an often simplified introduction to the bash shell and to individual bash commands and utilities and
* poses a series of practical problems and provides recipes (bash scripts which combine bash commands and utilities) which solve these problems.

A recipe on page 210 provides an illustration of this process. It is a bash script using various bash commands and lynx and cURL utilities to check a web site for broken links. I had an immediate use for this script and it solved my problem. Until I had read this book I would not have considered using the bash shell to solve some of these problems. The book has definitely increased my understanding of the bash shell.

The recipes are presented in Chapters which cover 1. Introduction, 2. Commonly used Commands, 3. Managing Files, 4. Working with text files, 5. Managing the web from the Command line (I found this a most interesting section and the overviews of wget and cURL are good), 6. Backup facilities, 7. Networking, 8. Monitoring the use of the system and 9. Administration. A user like myself will probably not need all of this material. Most of the recipes in the book are stand alone to the extent that one may only need to read material local to the recipe to understand it. Thus one can pick and choose what you need and retain the book for future reference. If you need to amend a script to suit your own needs you will find the official manuals more readable after you have read the book. At least you will be better equipped to find what you need in the manuals.

While the main emphasis of the book is on Linux shell scripting I have used some of these facilities with MS Windows systems using cygwin ([...] which provide a Linux look and feel environment for Windows.

I usually use the command line to install and update packages. Some account of these procedures might have been included. There is an idea running through the book that the problems tackled are better solved using the command line. Perhaps the authors think that a graphical package management system is best. Perhaps they wished to keep the book more compact.

I consider the book as a valuable complement to the official manuals and it would have been useful to have included more information on using the manuals, the help system and the man command.

Any of the recipes that I have tried worked well. The support material contains script files that do not have the execute permission set. (Changing permissions is not covered until page 115!).

To summarize I found this book useful and can recommend it highly as a supplement to the official manual to beginning and intermediate users of bash.
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on 4 October 2015
I have found this book very useful in showing me how to use shell commands. In particular I wanted to hack my USB glucose test meter to download its readings. I haven't managed that yet but have a lot of ideas how to from the book. I didn't realise before that shell commands can be used as a programming language rather like Python. In fact it seems to have made Python redundant on my Linux Ubuntu laptop.
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on 24 June 2013
Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook, Second Edition
For those who want to work at the Linux command line and be able to streamline and automate tedious tasks this book if for you; it is well written and easy to read removing the tedium of having the read a book; moreover, it has not fallen into the trap of using hypothetical examples with foo and bar. The examples are all real and practical that you can use straight away. You will start the book and in moments you will be putting it down to test the examples they use. This will be a book you should have read years ago.

If you find there are areas you already know, do not fear, the book does not require to be read in order and from front to back. Each page you turn you will find examples you can use or are already using. The book will start with some shell basics such as using echo and "hello world" but quickly moves on to using color with echo to make the output of your scripts more readable and context orientated messages. The humor that is included too adds to the ease in which this can be read, taking what could be quite dry into and enjoyable read. You will see this yourself within the chapter titles as well as their tips.

The book is more about the commands that you can use and how to use them, Linux commands are your tool chest and the authors show you the full power of the tools that you own. Chapter has a goodly list of commands with useful examples where they may be used leading into file and output redirection in chapter 3. By this stage I guarantee you will be liking the book and already tried more than a a dozen of their examples out. DO USE this book with a Linux terminal by your side, you will want to practice. The book continues in the same enthusiastic approach throughout and even jumping into system monitoring I never felt the subject became boring. If you have ever looked into the /proc directory and decided it was too much to understand, the author's of this book explain in a simple paragraph how you can gain useful and understandable data about your running processes.

I have been using Linux for many years now and I think the book is useful to seasoned professionals and those trying to conquer the Linux command line for the first time. It is not often that you find a technical book written so well and in way that is easily consumed. I recommend this to anyone wanting to learn Linux at the command line.
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on 16 January 2016
Let me start by saying that I didn't get far into this Kindle book, so I can't comment on the content. I returned it due to the formatting, which in the Kindle edition is poor. For books like this, the formatting needs to be crystal clear and 100% correct.
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