- Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
- Paperback: 354 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (April 8, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596009658
- ISBN-13: 978-0596009656
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning the bash Shell: Unix Shell Programming (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) 3rd Edition
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About the Author
Cameron Newham lives in Perth, Western Australia. After completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in information technology and geography at the University of Western Australia, Cameron joined Universal Defence Systems (later to become Australian Defence Industries) as a software engineer. He has been with ADI for six years, working on various aspects of command and control systems. In his spare time Cameron can be found surfing the Internet, ballroom dancing, or driving his sports car. He also has more than a passing interest in space science, 3D graphics, synthesiser music, and Depeche Mode.
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Top Customer Reviews
I will say that the book probably was very useful 10+ years ago but reading it today seems out of date and confusing. There is definitely a lot of useful material in the book and I learned a few things here and there in the few chapters I read, but it was an exhausting read. A lot of the content just doesn't apply to my use case. I am a developer who grew up using Windows and recently started doing Linux Server work. I picked up a few books on Ansible, Maven, Jenkins, etc., and decided a book on Bash might be a good place to start to bring myself up to speed on the Bash console. But the book reads as if it is a user manual for a user in the 1990s, working on a shared office computer. It warns you about using too much of your allotted resources, suggests you contact the admin to install Bash for you, etc. I'll admit at first it was a bit funny to read but eventually it just became tedious.
I'm sure further in the book there might have been more useful material but eventually I just got frustrated and gave up. If your use case is similar to mine, and not someone in the early 90's trying to familiarize yourself with the new office computer, perhaps look elsewhere.
The ideal reader already knows at least the names of the emacs and vi editors. That much helps understand the many features and two distinct feature sets available for command line editing. I consider fancy command line editing over-rated for fluent typists, but it's there in the second chapter for all who want it and anyone can benefit from at least a little knowledge of it. After that successive chapters pull the reader deeper into the bash feature set: aliases and shell variables, scripting and shell programming, and debugging when the shell programs or functions go awry.
Since this book is aimed at the novice, Newham and Rosenblatt skip lightly over a few of the more advanced subjects. For example, exceptions and trap handling get only cursory treatment, since they get into deep weirdness very fast. The authors are honest about this shallow treatment, though, and give enough information for a novice to recognize the basics and look them up in more advanced references.
This is nicely organized for the self-taught student. As a result, it's not laid out as a programmer's reference manual - anyone who wants that kind of reference just isn't looking at the right book. For its intended reader, though, it's a great book. It gets readers off to a fast start, and lets them decide just how much they want to bite off at a time. I recommned it very highly.