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Unix Shell Programming (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0672324901
ISBN-10: 0672324903
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Unix Shell Programmingis a tutorial aimed at helping Unix and Linux users get optimal performance out of their operating out of their operating system. It shows them how to take control of their systems and work efficiently by harnessing the power of the shell to solve common problems. The reader learns everything he or she needs to know to customize the way a Unix system responds.

The vast majority of Unix users utilize the Korn shell or some variant of the Bourne shell, such as bash. Three are covered in the third edition ofUnix Shell Programming. It begins with a generalized tutorial of Unix and tools and then moves into detailed coverage of shell programming.

Topics covered include: regular expressions, the kernel and the utilities, command files, parameters, manipulating text filters, understanding and debugging shell scripts, creating and utilizing variables, tools, processes, and customizing the shell.

About the Author

Stephen G. Kochan is the owner of TechFitness, a technology-based fitness company. Prior to that, he was the President and CEO of Pipeline Associates, a company specializing in color printing software. Mr. Kochan is the author of several best-selling books on Unix and C programming, including the best-selling Programming in C. He also acted as Series Editor for the Hayden Unix System Library.

Patrick Wood is the CTO of the New Jersey location of Electronics for Imaging. He was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories when he met Mr. Kochan back in 1985. Together they founded Pipeline Associates, Inc., a Unix consulting firm, where he was the Vice President. The co-authored Exploring the Unix System, Unix System Security, Topics in C Programming, and Unix Shell Programming.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 3 edition (March 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672324903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672324901
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on May 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
"UNIX Shell Programming, 3rd Ed" (USP3E) is probably the book to buy if you're a beginning UNIX user with dreams of writing shell scripts. The book does a good job of explaining many of the key concepts needed to get real work done on UNIX systems. While readers with advanced backgrounds will prefer a book like "Mastering UNIX Shell Scripting" by Randal Michael, USP3E will please most UNIX scripting newbies.

USP3E begins with a review of the basics -- working with files and directories, redirecting input/output, pipes, and the shell itself. Chapter four's discussion of regular expressions is generally useful, although "saving matched characters" on p. 64 was confusing. This made the "command substitution" material on p. 129 unclear. Chapter six was devoted to the use of different sorts of quotes, which seems excessive until one realizes the significant differences between using single and double quotation marks in scripts. Attention to detail like this, along with generous inclusion of sample scripts, helped this book earn a strong rating.

While the book includes examples of using sed, awk is not mentioned. Sed could have received more coverage as well. While the authors direct interested readers to other books, perhaps a future edition might include chapters devoted to sed and awk? While the publisher's site doesn't mention a source for errata, it is available by contacting the authors.

Overall, I liked this book. It is up-to-date and compares favorably to the other books I consider reading to learn more about UNIX shell scripting. Armed with the knowledge gained from USP3E, readers should be equipped to automate some routine tasks. They will also be able to progress to more advanced shell scripting resources.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 20, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that most of the Unix tools like sed, awk, regular expressions, even vi, deserve their own specialized books and there are excellent books on these subjects.

This is the only book you need as a general foundation to overall Unix shell environment. It is more convenient to start with this book and then dive deeper with the help of books like "Learning VI", "Mastering Regular Expressions". Yes awk is not covered, but it is not a big loss since awk was kind of not the part of native tools and it most definitely needed its own book to master as well as Perl.

Then after you are done, most definitely for a daily use obtain "Unix Power Tools"

This book is excellent for two audiences.

For beginning programmers new to Unix. It should be their only general purpose Unix book, followed by specialized books. Also it serves to veterans that were away for a while from Unix and need just to brush-up very quickly without going to minute details of every tool.
I for one, used this book as part of both audiences. I got acquainted with Unix with help of this book as well as refreshed my knowledge a year ago after long hiatus.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Williams on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and NCR made Unix computers I first started to program for a living. Back then when someone said `script' they meant a shell script, generally for a Bourne shell.
Now that we have languages such as Perl and Python, much of shell scripting has been forgotten. The need still arises for the times and places where running Perl would be just that little bit too much overhead; cron jobs, process start and stop scripts, even machine start and stop scripts. For these we could best go back to the old ways. Combining the power of the common Unix tools, pipes and scripts in a fairly obscure and slightly arcane syntax is not easy to pick up, though the language's simplicity does, in some ways, make it easier than more complex ones such as Perl. Unix Shell Programming, Third Edition does a good job at introducing shell programming and I found it an excellent book when I needed a refresher.
I don't want to sell this volume short: you won't just learn about shell programming. The first ninety or so pages provide an excellent guide to getting the best out of the shell, and the last chapter is devoted to the features specific to an interactive shell such as command-line editing and using the history.
The authors have chosen to use the POSIX standard Bourne shell (`bash', available on many *nix systems, is a superset of the POSIX standard). That seems the right decision, given that it is so universally available and usually the default shell.
The book is well structured, starting out with a brief look at *nix operating systems before introducing the shell followed by some basic tools; cut, paste, sed, tr, grep, sort and uniq.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Allo on April 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I started using Unix in 1988 and new nothing about shell scripting on Unix. I have been mostly working on PDP and VAX-VMS systems. Scripting in VMS was very mature using DCL. Anyway I had to learn scripting on Unix and bought this book in 1990. The best thing about this book is that everything is taught in small easy to follow examples. It really explains the ins and outs very well and is very suitable for self-study. I have recommended this book to quite a few people over the years and had only very positive feedback.
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