From Bash to Z Shell: Conquering the Command Line [NOOK Book]

Overview

This comprehensive, hands-on guide focuses on two of the most popular and feature-rich shells, bash and zsh. From Bash to Z Shell: Conquering the Command Line is a book for all skill levels. Novices will receive an introduction to the features of shells and power users will get to explore the benefits of zsh—one of the most powerful, versatile shells ever written. Intermediate users will uncover hints, ...

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From Bash to Z Shell: Conquering the Command Line

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Overview

This comprehensive, hands-on guide focuses on two of the most popular and feature-rich shells, bash and zsh. From Bash to Z Shell: Conquering the Command Line is a book for all skill levels. Novices will receive an introduction to the features of shells and power users will get to explore the benefits of zsh—one of the most powerful, versatile shells ever written. Intermediate users will uncover hints, recipes, and ideas to enhance their skill sets.



The book covers shell programming, but is unique in its thorough coverage of using shells interactively—a powerful and time-saving alternative to Windows and a mouse. This strong author team has written an immediately useful book, packed with examples and suggestions that users of Unix, Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows can readily apply.



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Editorial Reviews

Slashdot.org
All in all, From Bash to Z Shell provides a frequent shell user with a plethora of new insights into customizing the bash and zsh shell programs to fit his/her tastes. The authors have filled a void in tackling the subject of customizing the shell rather than just simply using it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430204022
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 11/11/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • File size: 931 KB

Meet the Author

Oliver Kiddle is actively involved with the development of the Z shell, and acts as a team authority in areas such as completion and parameters. Kiddle is a graduate of the University of York, U.K.
Peter Stephenson grew up in northeast England and studied physics at the University of Oxford, where he earned a bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. Stephenson spent nine years as a physics researcher, with an emphasis on computational physics, and resided in Liverpool, Swansea, Berlin, and Pisa.

Since 2000, Stephenson has been a software engineer with Cambridge Silicon Radio, where he works on the baseband firmware for short-range digital radio standards, such as Bluetooth. Stephenson has been involoved in the development of the Z shell since the 1990s, when he began writing the FAQs. The past several years, he has coordinated the shell's development.


Jerry Peek is a freelance writer and instructor. He has used shells extensively and has taught users about them for over 20 years. Peek is the "Power Tools" columnist for Linux Magazine and coauthored the book UNIX Power Tools.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction to shells 3
Ch. 2 Using shell features together 27
Ch. 3 More shell features 53
Ch. 4 Entering and editing the command line 71
Ch. 5 Starting the shell 107
Ch. 6 More about shell history 123
Ch. 7 Prompts 141
Ch. 8 Files and directories 167
Ch. 9 Pattern matching 197
Ch. 10 Completion 231
Ch. 11 Jobs and processes 261
Ch. 12 Variables 279
Ch. 13 Scripting and functions 307
Ch. 14 Writing editor commands 347
Ch. 15 Writing completion functions 371
App. A Unix programs 409
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2005

    An in-depth look at the functionality of bash and zsh.

    <p>Novice users and power users of *nix will enjoy reading <cite>From Bash to Z Shell: Conquering the Command line</cite> by Oliver Kiddle, Jerry Peek, and Peter Stephenson. In this moderately-size book from Apress, the authors delve into both bash (Bourne Again Shell) and zsh (Z Shell) to enable you to utilize them to their fullest advantage. Topics range from the simple editing of the command line to redefining key sequences, down into creating functions for editing and command line completion. Some areas are covered in other books, but this one goes into some side streets and alleyways to show you the shortcuts to more efficient use of the shell. <p>A *nix style shell is available in a number of platforms, so the authors chose not to limit themselves to just one, such as Linux. The techniques they discuss can be used in Unix, as well as under Windows using cygwin. <p>In case you're not overly well-versed in shell handling, the first part of the book does a pretty good job covering all of the things a typical user might want to do. Basic command editing, I/O redirection, jobs, processes, and some simple scripting are all covered. For many users, this is as far as they would like to go. However, reading a little further yields treasure. <p>The next part delves into bash version 3.0 and zsh version 4.2. A good chunk of chapter 4 is spent on sophisticated command line editing techniques, including rebinding keys with bindkey (or its bash cousin 'bind'). The next few chapters cover common topics of prompt strings, file/directory globbing, and shell history. Then, significant press is given to the subject of pattern matching, which <cite>From Bash to Z Shell</cite> details with many examples from both bash and zsh. Part 2 wraps up by discussing command line and file/directory name completion, and job processing. <p>The third and final part of the book deals with extending the shell using variables, scripts, and functions. The first two chapters go over familiar territory: shell variables and shell programming. The last two chapters focus on topics frequently overlooked: editor functions, and completion functions. This is where a true power user can shine, creating a suite of new functions to speed his/her use of zsh or bash. <p>All-in-all, <cite>From Bash to Z Shell</cite> provides a frequent shell user with a plethora of new insights into customizing the bash and zsh shell programs to fit his/her tastes. The authors have filled a void in tackling the subject of customizing the shell rather than just simply using it. I would have liked to see more coverage of some of the more standard uses of the shells, just so the book could be a more complete reference, rather than the specialized one it is. Specialized or not, there is a lot offered here, and you couldn't go wrong getting this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2005

    More than just a reference manual

    This book delivers a good, clear discussion to using the advanced features in bash and zsh, but with a very accessible first section for beginners, including Windows users. The book is divided into three sections; the first is the introduction and overview and serves as a good grounding in the basics. The second addresses the common, every day features you'd use in a shell such as command line completition and history, whilst the third covers the advanced features available in bash and zsh. The title suggests an encyclopedic shell reference guide and whilst the first two sections are shell agnostic the later emphasis is heavily on bash and zsh with indepth discussions and examples. If this is what you are looking for then this is a book well worth considering.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2004

    for programmers and sysadmins

    Before today's fancy GUIs of every operating system, programmers and sysadmins were restricted to command line programs; totally lacking any UI. Some of you who remember that will have a frisson of retroness about this book. It concentrates on only 2 shells - bash and zsh, though it does mention briefly other shells, in passing. If you're new to all this, it's a good way to appreciate what you can do outside a GUI. The book's examples are short and simple. None are even remotely 100 lines in length. A quick style of programming that will appeal to some of you. Because you can pragmatically solve certain classes of problems with simple interactions with the operating system. The book also shows that scripting occupies a middle ground between what sysadmins and programmers do. In this way, you can use the book as an unorthodox career guide. If you are a sysadmin and you find writing scripts enjoyable, it could suggest you try programming in fully fledged languages like C. Conversely, if you are a programmer in one of the latter languages, but you find scripting more fun, perhaps you should be a sysadmin.

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