[NBLUG/talk] I want to learn shell scripting.

sms at sonic.net sms at sonic.net
Sat May 8 17:32:02 PDT 2004

> I've got a SAMS book called "UNIX Shell Programming" which I
> haven't really used - it looks a bit elementary, but then - every
> reference helps a bit!  - Nan Harrison

I think the first 100 pages or so of the SAMS book should be split
out and published under its own cover, titled "how to think UNIX."
It's the most elegant and concise intro-to-commandline-UNIX I've
seen.  Commands, options, stdin/stout/sterr & I/O redirection, &c.

Obviously, the SAMS book is aimed at a "fundamental" level if it's
teaching ground-up stuff; but it's still IMHO a fine book on the
topic, & I recommend it (for some time it was IMHO *the* scripting-

I'll also second the "UNIX in a Nutshell" book; no use for *LEARNING*
per se, but if you're already doing stuff it's a peerless reference.
Likewise the "Power Tools" book -- it's really not a good way to learn
anything where the basics need teaching, but it's loads of fun to
"browse" (if you're a UNIXgeek; my mother, my wife & my kids *ALL*
acted like I was insane when I took it along on a family vacation as
my "for-fun paperback read") and it DOES have a plethora of fascinating

Also very useful:  look for shellscripts on your own system... you
likely know what your system is doing, so examine /etc/rc* startups,
"commandline utilities" that are scripts, etc.  At least 2 times in
3, if I want to do something via script I can find at least a framework
already written & working somewhere on my box...  :^)  If you're a
hardcore selfstarter type, your local scripts + O'Reilly's "Nutshell"
might just be everything you need to get "over the hump" & all the way
into "yes, I know shellscript"land.

- Steve S.

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