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Beginning Shell Scripting [Paperback]

Eric Foster-Johnson , John C. Welch , Micah Anderson

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Book Description

April 29 2005 Programmer to Programmer
  • Covering all major platforms-Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows-this guide shows programmers and power users how to customize an operating system, automate commands, and simplify administration tasks using shell scripts
  • Offers complete shell-scripting instructions, robust code examples, and full scripts for OS customization
  • Covers shells as a user interface, basic scripting techniques, script editing and debugging, graphing data, and simplifying administrative tasks
  • In addition to Unix and Linux scripting, the book covers the latest Windows scripting techniques and offers a complete tutorial on Mac OS X scripting, including detailed coverage of mobile file systems, legacy applications, Mac text editors, video captures, and the Mac OS X Open Scripting Architecture

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Beginning Shell Scripting

Shell scripts give you the power to automate tedious daily tasks, improve your work capabilities, and get more out of your computers. Whether you are working on Mac OS®X, Linux®, Unix®, or Windows®, this book presents complete shell scripting instructions, robust code examples, and full scripts for customizing your operating system.

You'll first learn the basics of shell scripts, including what they are, how they run, and how you can design executable commands from them. You'll then progress to more advanced scripting topics, such as using awk and sed commands, building command pipelines, and creating functions. This book covers everything you'll need to know about shells and scripting in order to begin writing your own.

What you will learn from this book

  • How shells work and how to find them on your system
  • Steps for passing data to a shell script and modifying your environment
  • Techniques for creating, reading, enhancing, and removing files
  • How to query about processes and gather information about what is running on your system
  • Tips for editing and debugging scripts
  • Ways to monitor and administer your system using scripts
  • How to call on your desktop applications from scripts

Who this book is for

This book is for anyone who wants to get more out of their computer systems, including Mac OS X, Linux, Unix, and Windows users.

Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

About the Author

Eric Foster-Johnson (Arden Hills, MN) is a veteran programmer who works daily with Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac OS X, and other operating systems. By day, he writes enterprise Java software for ObjectPartners, a Minnesota consulting firm. He has authored a number of Linux and Unix titles including Red Hat RPM Guide, Teach Yourself Linux, Teach Yourself Unix, and Perl Modules.

John C. Welch (Boston, MA) has more than ten years of Mac experience in the trenches of the IT world. He packs the hall at Macworld Expo where he’s a regular speaker, sharing his experiences and knowledge on using Macs effectively in business and enterprise IT environments. John’s articles are frequently featured in MacTech Magazine and WorkingMac.com, and he is semi-regularly featured on The Mac Show conducting interviews with the geekier side of the Mac community. He’s recently been touring the country presenting seminars on Mac OS X administration to IT professionals from coast to coast.

Micah Anderson has been a Unix system administrator for more than a decade. He is a Debian GNU/Linux developer and works as an independent consultant building alternative communication infrastructure and supporting the technology needs of positive grassroots alternatives.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A shell is a program that takes commands typed by the user and calls the operating system to run those commands. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but some issues March 7 2006
By Tim B. Denier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The claims that the author gives equal scripting time to each OS and all shells is very misleading.

The author hates Windows and never misses a chance to let you know this - I wish the author had left the personal views and OS politics out ...

or just not covered Windows at all. (Which by the way isn't covered at all - other than the Cygwin program and why the author hates Windows so much.)

This book uses the BASH shell almost exclusively with some "oh yea, this syntax won't work on the C Shell" thrown in.

the Korn & Z Shells are treated like they don't even exist - and BASH is always the only way to go.

The book at about Chapter 3 becomes more of a "look what i can do" and "here write this out in a text editor and save the file as this", without much explaInation as to why it happens that way and what the syntax introduced means. With some syntax being introduced in a script and never being explained or referenced at all.

The terms the Author uses are as technical as you can get (like Palindromic Scripting" instead of saying a number reads the same forward and backwards (ex. 15851) or even symmetrical would have been a better term for a newbie. Luckily i know what Palindromic numbers are.

Not a good book for Newbies ... too much un-explained out of nowhere syntax - related in the most technical terms the Author could find. It reads more like a technical manual on something ... not a how to learn from the ground up book. Your just as well off reading the MAN pages.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seems More of Disorganized Showing Off July 7 2007
By Joaquin Menchaca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book seems to want to introduce all and everything under the sun, as as such, the book looses focus quite a bit. For example, the in the beginning the author introduces samples of python, perl, and tcl, talks about batch, and then introduces a variety of text editors for all platforms. Later in the next chapter, we learn how to launch a music player and then echo out text, and then how to setup variable in bourne shell, and the c shell. I am grateful for his enthusiasm on the topic, but feels like I'm on a roller coaster ride of scrambled ideas related to shell scripting.

In looking forward to the chapter "Scripting with Files", I see some minor notes on chmod and file test conditionals for files. I don't see more advance topics like using find or stat or related topics, and instead we are presented with a conversation on Next file systems, Mac OS X file systems (UFS and HFS+). And on those topics, we get "gee that's neat to know" trivia, but it's totally useless, as there nothing on Mac specific commands like ditto or setfile to handle the Mac flavor of Unix.

On one topic on "Controlling Processes", the author explains the concept of processes and shows a screen shot of a Windows Task Manager. I was thinking, that well, maybe this book offers something different by showing how to script with Windows specific commands, like tasklist, but nope, we only get the screen shot, and following discussion on ps command and the /proc directory on Linux.

Overall, the book offers a lot of trivia on a variety of topics, and in some places there may be some scripts -- if you are lucky -- relating to the topic, and interspersed chaotically is some introduction material on shell scripting, sometimes bourne, sometimes c shell, sometimes something different. If this type of style works for you, then this might be the book, but I think for most of us, we'll want to follow more focused organized books relating to shell scripting (and of a particular scripting language, e.g. POSIX shell or other shell language).
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice way to get started with shell scripting... May 15 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Shell scripting is one of those things I keep telling myself I need to learn but never quite get around to it. The Wrox book Beginning Shell Scripting by Eric Foster-Johnson, John C. Welsh, and Micah Anderson might be the book I end up using to get me there.

Chapter List: Introducing Shells; Introducing Shell Scripts; Controlling How Scripts Run; Interacting With The Environment; Scripting With Files; Processing Text with sed; Processing Text with awk; Creating Command Pipelines; Controlling Processes; Shell Scripting Functions; Debugging Shell Scripts; Graphing Data With MRTG; Scripting For Administrators; Scripting For The Desktop; Answers To Exercises; Useful Commands; Index

This book has something for just about every beginning user. As a "Beginning" Wrox book, it's meant to take you from no knowledge to basic competency. Normally when you think of shell scripts, you think Unix. But this book goes beyond that. The authors include just about every OS in their coverage. Unix and Linux users are obviously taken care of, as I'd expect. But they also address Mac OS X users so that they can start to delve under the covers of their operating system. They even include Windows users by having them download the Cygwin software. Overall, the focus is on the Bourne shell, but special features of the others (like C, bash, and Korn) are also addressed as they come up. Overall, you get coverage on just about everything you could want as a beginner.

With the combination of "Try It Out" and "How It Works" examples in the book, beginners should quickly be able to do something with their new knowledge. To me, that's always the sign of a good beginning level book on a subject... get the reader doing something productive quickly. Beginning Shell Scripting meets that criteria.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Pro ! May 10 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a book for the IT professionals with good knowledge in Shell Scripting. It does not provide enough explanation about the Shell scripting to help beginners. The book is just for the BASH scripting, and the author's approach is not systematic. Therfore, this book is not good to use for the educational purpose.

I recommend this book to those who know the Shell Scripting, but they are looking for some new ideas or second opinion.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy way to scripting. June 22 2005
By Alex Vox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is nice , useful book. I found it to be the nice match to the Linux and UNIX for a beginner training suite, 4DVDs + 2CDs includes 4 Unix Academy Certifications ed.2008. They supplement one another very nicely and helpfully.
It is easy to read and follow, the examples are clear and well described. Overall very nice effort!

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