bash Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for bash Users (Cookbooks (O’Reilly))

The key to mastering any Unix system, especially Linux and Mac OS X, is a thorough knowledge of shell scripting. Scripting is a way to harness and customize the power of any Unix system, and it’s an essential skill for any Unix users, including system administrators and professional OS X developers. But beneath this simple promise lies a treacherous ocean of variations in Unix commands and standards.

bash Cookbook teaches shell scripting the way Unix masters practice the craft. It presents a variety of recipes and tricks for all levels of shell programmers so that anyone can become a proficient user of the most common Unix shell — the bash shell — and cygwin or other popular Unix emulation packages. Packed full of useful scripts, along with examples that explain how to create better scripts, this new cookbook gives professionals and power users everything they need to automate routine tasks and enable them to truly manage their systems — rather than have their systems manage them.

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3 comments

  1. 19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    it was worth waiting for it, October 30, 2008
    By 
    Tiberius (Cyberspace) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: bash Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for bash Users (Cookbooks (O’Reilly)) (Paperback)
    More than ten years after the first edition of Learning the bash Shell (In a Nutshell (O’Reilly)) came out, there appeared a book that sums up all the experience and expertise the authors have gained since those times using this shell. If you’re new to Unix/Linux, start with the work linked in above, but if you have been using either of these systems for some time and you would like to learn how to make your life easier, then this is the book for you.

    Why? Because it concentrates on teaching you how to solve your problems. After a brief introduction and setting the basics the real depth begins: 1. a problem, 2. developing a solution, 3. evaluating the solution. And lots of examples. Naturally, the first step is to recognise that you have a problem, which the book also teaches you: some people tend to suffer while doing a repetitive and uninteresting chore but does not even occur to them that it does not need to be so: they can turn the chore into a hunt for automatisation putting their brain to some creative use, so instead of numbing their mind they start sharping it, and this is exactly where this book comes in.

    Presently, amazon.com does not offer you a look into the book, but you can have a preview of every chapter and also a full view of the table of contents at the publisher’s page: […] Than come back here, as Amazon’s price is much better. (At the time of writing this, there is a 37% discount.)

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  2. 23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Keep it close, you will use it, February 29, 2008
    By 
    Gordon Ewasiuk (Washington, DC) –

    This review is from: bash Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for bash Users (Cookbooks (O’Reilly)) (Paperback)
    These O’Reilly Cookbooks should be on every sysadmin’s shelf. The Bash Cookbook is no different. Incredibly useful book. I didn’t read it cover to cover but have gone back to it at least 15-20 times to pull out nuggets of info. The real-world, practical examples and solutions offered in this book provide the sysadmin with a virtual swiss army knife when working with bash.

    Book was so useful, I bought two extra copies and sent them to coworkers.

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  3. 44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Solutions to problems for bash users of all skill levels, June 25, 2007
    By 
    calvinnme
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: bash Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for bash Users (Cookbooks (O’Reilly)) (Paperback)
    This book covers the GNU Bourne Again Shell, which is a member of the Bourne family of shells that includes the original Bourne shell sh, the Korn shell ksh, and the Public Domain Korn Shell pdksh. This book is for anyone who uses a Unix or Linux system, as well as system administrators who may use several systems on any given day. Thus, there are solutions and useful sections for all levels of users including newcomers. This book is full of recipes for creating scripts and interacting with the shell that will allow you to greatly increase your productivity.

    Chapter 1, “Beginning bash” covers what a shell is, why you should care about it, and then the basics of bash including how you get it on your system. The next five chapters are on the basics that you would need when working with any shell – standard I/O, command execution, shell variables, and shell logic and arithmetic. Next there are two chapters on “Intermediate Shell Tools”. These chapters’ recipes use some utilities that are not part of the shell, but which are so useful that it is hard to imagine using the shell without them, such as “sort” and “grep”, for example. Chapter nine features recipes that allow you to find files by case, date, type, size, etc. Chapter 10, “Additional Features for Scripting” has much to do with code reuse, which is something you find even in scripting. Chapter 11, “Working with Dates and Times”, seems like it would be very simple, but it’s not. This chapter helps you get through the complexities of dealing with different formats for displaying the time and date and converting between various date formats.

    Chapter 12, “End-User Tasks As Shell Scripts”, shows you a few larger though not large examples of scripts. They are meant to give you useful, real world examples of actual uses of shell scripts beyond just system administration tasks. Chapter 13, “Parsing and Similar Tasks”, is about tasks that will be familiar to programmers. It’s not necessarily full of more advanced scripts than the other recipes in the book, but if you are not a programmer, these tasks might seem obscure or irrelevant to your use of bash. Topics covered include parsing HTML, setting up a database with MySQL, and both trimming and compressing whitespace. Chapter 14 is on dealing with the security of your shell scripts. Chapters 15 through 19 finish up the book starting with a chapter on advanced scripting that focuses on script portability. Chapter 16 is related to the previous chapter on portability and is concerned with configuring and customizing your bash environment. Chapter 17 is about miscellaneous items that didn’t fit well into any other chapter. The subjects include capturing file metadata for recovery, sharing and logging sessions, and unzipping many ZIP files at once. Chapter 18 deals with shortcuts aimed at the limiting factor of many uses of bash – the typing speed of the user and shortcuts that cut down on the amount of typing necessary. The final chapter in the book, “Tips and Traps”, deals with the common mistakes that bash users make.

    All in all this is a very handy reference for a vast number of the tasks that you’ll come across when scripting with the bash shell along with well-commented code. Highly recommended.

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