Classic Shell Scripting
Hidden Commands that Unlock the Power of Unix
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2005
Pages: 560

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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oreillyClassic Shell Scripting
 
3.8

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (4)
    • Novice (4)
    • Student (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (3), Sys admin (3)

    Reviewed by 12 customers

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    5.0

    Great Book

    By FryGuy

    from Germany

    About Me Developer, Educator, Sys Admin

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

      I was torn about whether I should rate this 4 or 5 stars. The only think I didn't like about the book is it didn't cover Korn shell more in-depth. Other than that I found the book very informative and helpful

       
      4.0

      A great reference to have on hand.

      By Rick

      from Ontario, Canada

      About Me Sys Admin

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Helpful examples

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

        I started shell scripting years ago and wanted to get back into it. With this book I was easily able to find the things that I couldn't quite remember how to do.
        This is an excellent book to have on hand whether your are starting out with your first shell script or just getting back into.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        A wonderful book.

        By Arthur Alves

        from Alagoas, Brazil

        About Me Developer, Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

          Having heard many good things about the books by Arnold Robbins, on a rainy day of winter (Jul 2011) in college I found some chapters of this book in the "Linux System Administration" course and after having read them I began to wonder "why?"

          "Why only a few chapters and not the whole book?"

          I bought the ebook version and I saw with my own eyes how pleasant it's to read a book by Arnold Robbins.
          A book aimed for those who have some basic experience in Shell, those who are Unix System Administrators or Scripters with years of experience in the Unix command line.

          Arnold Robbins and Nelson H. F. Beebe say not only how the shell works, the useful commands, but also how to do it in the shell's way. I don't know about you, but I saw programmers doing some shell scripts as if they were programming in Java or C/C++, people who can't know how to use the power of shell. Because that this book is important for a novice and those who have experience too.

          Another thing that impressed me was seeing so much about regular expressions that will surely show some concepts for novices in this good explanations way. (For more about regular expressions: Learning Regular Expressions, 1st Edition by Michael Fitzgerald – Upcoming… I'm waiting to read it).

          I waited more about the "Chapter 15. Secure Shell Scripts: Getting Started" that how their name show us, it's just a bit of secure shell scripts.

          And last but no less important, I love that tortoise.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Good overview/introduction

          By MrSafferity

          from London, UK

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

            I'm only about half way through this, but so far I think its a great introduction (or perhaps refresher) to *nix scripting

            I'd recommend it for sure - then maybe recommend "sed & awk" as a next step

            (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent

            By Michael Garfield Sorensen, CeDeT

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

            This is a concise, clear, no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point programmer's guide to bash shell scripting. It is the most well-written guide I have ever read!

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Correction

            By Amol Kolhe

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

            I completely disagree with freejak here.

            Every example in chapter 5 is well described with elaborate paragraphs of text. The only commands which are not explained are ones which are to appear in subsequent chapters, and in which case it is mentioned so.

            This is an excellent book, especially if you already have some experience in scripting and unix, this book teaches you all the good options with commands, which you don't come across otherwise in day to day operation.

            It also guides you on how to write scripts the right way, so that they remain portable across systems, and should work 99% of the times.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            A sound guide to the POSIX shell

            By AjT

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

            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 standard 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!

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Perfect updated shell scripting reference

            By Henrik Kramshoj

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

            Seeing the pretty unfair stars from bad reviews I thought I would share my views on this book, and I will only make a single review - as to not skew the stars like the beginner did ;-)

            This book is one of my all-time favourites, and I recommend it again and again to people working with UNIX. This is one of the most important books if you are an administrator in charge of various UNIX based systems.

            I come from a UNIX environment at the beginning of 1990's and have used UNIX systems like HP-UX, SunOS/Solaris, Linux (SLS to Kubuntu), OpenBSD and AIX - about 15+ years of UNIX.

            During this time UNIX tools and scripting has evolved tremendously and I have been caught sometimes using "yesterdays" ways of doing things.

            This book immediately taught me how to do things in better ways and told me why some of my old habits should go out the door ASAP.

            This book does go from beginner, having the basics of how to create a script using #! but is very dense and could be combined with some introductory stuff - another book on your favourite shell perhaps.

            Over the years you will enjoy this book when working with UNIX and researching how to do a shell script task in an efficient AND portable way. To me it is an instant classic!

            (4 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Correction

            By freejak

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

            I need to make a correction to my earlier review. There are some example scripts included beginning in Chapter 5. I must have blanked these out of my memory because of their painful associations.

            This is a line from the first (first!) example:

            sed -e 's=^\([^:]*\):[^/]*/\([^/]*\)/.*$=\1:\2=' $OFFICE

            For Pete's sake, what ever happened to "Hello World"?

            (4 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            If you want to start learning to write Shell scripts, don't start here

            By freejak

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Classic Shell Scripting:

            Yesterday I officially gave up on the "Classic Shell Scripting" book. I don't like to give up on stuff, but this was a frustrating waste of time for me. After 120 pages I had had enough of SED/Awk examples, massive regular expressions, snippets that didn't work and not a single actual example of a shell script. This is not a book from which to start to learn how to write shell scripts.

            I see that the other reviewers here give O'Reilly a pass by making more or less the same observation (albeit in kinder/gentler terms). I will not. The authors state in the Preface that this *is* a book for beginners to use to learn how to write Shell scripts. This is not helping the reader. This book either needs a very substantial re-write or a new, more accurate title and presentation.

            After some analysis based on reader reviews I am going to take this from the top using the ""KornShell Programming Tutorial" from HP Press, authored by Barry Rosenberg. This book has garnered a average 5 star rating in reader reviews at amazon.com. Looks like a better starting point to me.

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