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bash Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) [Paperback]

Arnold Robbins
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 20, 2010 1449387888 978-1449387884 1

It's simple: you need to know how to work with the bash shell if you want to get to the heart of Mac OS X, Linux, and other Unix systems. Updated for the most recent version of bash, this concise little book puts all of the essential information about bash at your fingertips. You'll quickly find answers to annoying questions that always come up when you're writing shell scripts -- What characters do you need to quote? How do you get variable substitution to do exactly what you want? How do you use arrays? -- and much more.

If you're a user or programmer of any Unix variant, or if you're using bash on Windows, you'll find this pocket reference indispensable. This book covers:

  • Invoking the Shell
  • Syntax
  • Functions
  • Variables
  • Arithmetic Expressions
  • Command History
  • Programmable Completion
  • Job Control
  • Shell Options
  • Command Execution
  • Coprocesses
  • Restricted Shells
  • Built-in Commands

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bash Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) + Linux Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition
Price for both: $18.49

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arnold Robbins is a professional programmer and technical author who has worked with Unix systems since 1980 and has been using AWK since 1987. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. Arnold is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor.

Product Details

  • Series: Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449387888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449387884
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arnold Robbins is a professional programmer, instructor, and author. A long-time GNU Project volunteer, he currently maintains gawk. He has worked with C, C++, Unix, and GNU/Linux since 1980.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice guide July 18, 2010
By H. Bork
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As the copy on the back of this book claims, the O'Reilly 'Bash Pocket Reference' allows one to "quickly find answers to the annoying questions that always come up when you're writing shell scripts." As you would expect, this is a reference manual, and unless you already know the fundamentals of BASH, it won't be of much use, unless used in conjunction with another, more expansive book. My favorite part of this book so far has been its treatment of more obscure shell variables, and its quick reference for shell builtins.

I should point out, though (and this is something that a previous reviewer seems to have missed), that this guide does *not* cover the use/syntax of all the external programs one might find on a *NIX system (e.g., grep, find, etc.). The reference is to BASH only and its associated builtin commands. And to be honest, external commands don't really *need* a reference like this, since they should already have man-pages that explain their usage.

Considering the price and the abundance of information, the BASH pocket reference is a great buy for anyone who does even casual work in the BASH shell.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have! January 25, 2011
Linux users know all to well that typing "man bash" or "info bash" in the text console is like opening The Bible and starting at Genesis when you want to read a chapter from St. Luke. Of course, the way the Bash man pages are written, Jesus may come back by the time you finish reading it.

For those who would like to write shell scripts and learn from the Bash man pages but don't have an eternity to spare reading a verbose document on such an easy programming tool, the Bash Pocket Reference is for you.

Because my eyes (and pocketbook) have yet to adjust to the concept of eBooks, the dead tree edition is preferred. Combine working knowledge with other books (like the sed & awk Pocket Reference and the Linux Pocket Guide) and internet resources with this book and you'll be writing shell scripts like a pro in just a few hours. Then after a few days, you'll start to kick butt writing shell scripts that do things that GUI based programs do but at a price of memory consumption. (BTW, use a text editor like vim or emacs when programming! Learning how to use screen or tmux also couldn't hurt, in fact it will make things more productive provided you can memorize various combinations to complete tasks.)

I highly recommend this book for anyone using Linux or UNIX as their operating system.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets you up and running September 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came into a job that relies heavily upon bash scripts. This book gave me what I needed to get up and running.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am wearing it out August 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am wearing it out. I am competent with BASH but I still find my self referring to this handy book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For advanced users, focus on shell scripting July 31, 2013
This is a good and concise reference for the syntax and semantics of the Bash shell. But note that the book does NOT cover any actual Linux commands such as "cp" or "find"! The Bash Pocket Reference is for advanced users, its focus is on shell scripting. You can look up how to declare variables and functions, redirect output, how Bash evaluates arithmetic expressions etc. If you're looking for a Linux command reference for beginners, try Linux Shell Commands: A Tutorial Quick Reference for Desktop Users.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNIX/Linux Programmers and Sys Admins January 1, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book, I actually purchased a total of 4 books from the O'Reilly Series on BASH, all from All for the serious command-line junkie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful reference guide November 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I do network security, and have a lot of reference guides, the Bash pocket reference guide is pretty good, it is well organized, and easy to understand. Just remember though, this is not something to buy if you are new to bash, this is a reference guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for advanced users November 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Complete as far as I can see, and certainly my reference for all things bash.

The index, however, only works if you know where you are going, so this e-book is for more advanced users.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Incredibly Useful book
If you are using a FLOSS GNU/Linux Distribution and you have not yet learned the real power of the Command Line Interface Terminal then I highly recommend learning bash!
Published 6 months ago by Timothy M Butterworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible
Not rocket science, but very handy. It's like having your best friend who's a guru on the topic write you a really nice cheat-sheet.
Published 7 months ago by ROI
5.0 out of 5 stars Great eBook
Trying to become IT "PRO" and had Linux/Unix class of course working
with Bash. Like it, trying to get more proficient at it. This Reference is
helping a lot.
Published 14 months ago by Scott Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read!
A quick run down of bash commands! If you are new to bash you should get another manual, this one doesn't have a lot of info.
Published 15 months ago by Aaron Simpson
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good for looking up the little things
Very nice book for looking up switches, etc. Nice to have because I do less bash scripting than perl and/or c programming, and tend to forget the syntax here and there.
Published 15 months ago by Nathan Hilterbrand
5.0 out of 5 stars Bash Pocket Reference
One can never go wrong with an O'Reilly publication.
Had this on a previous job and found it extremely helpful as an everyday tool. Read more
Published on October 21, 2011 by David La Mar
4.0 out of 5 stars Good no great
I was expecting more of a pocket reference of commands and this is not exactly was I was seeking, but I'm certainly not going to return it either.
Published on September 12, 2011 by B. Graham Mccarty
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