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Overview

Praise for the First Edition of A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming 

“First Sobell taught people how to use Linux…now he teaches you the power of Linux. A must-have book for anyone who wants to take Linux to the next level.”

–Jon “maddog” Hall, Executive Director, Linux International

 

“This book is a very useful tool for anyone who wants to ‘look under the hood’ so to speak, and really start putting the power of Linux to work. What I find particularly frustrating about man pages is that they never include examples. Sobell, on the other hand, outlines very clearly what the command does and then gives several common, easy-tounderstand examples that make it a breeze to start shell programming on one’s own. As with Sobell’s other works, this is simple, straight-forward, and easy to read. It’s a great book and will stay on the shelf at easy arm’s reach for a long time.”

–Ray Bartlett, Travel Writer

 

“Overall I found this book to be quite excellent, and it has earned a spot on the very front of my bookshelf. It covers the real ‘guts’ of Linux–the command line and its utilities–and does so very well. Its strongest points are the outstanding use of examples, and the Command Reference section. Highly recommended for Linux users of all skill levels. Well done to Mark Sobell and Prentice Hall for this outstanding book!”

–Dan Clough, Electronics Engineer and Slackware Linux user

 

“Totally unlike most Linux books, thisbook avoids discussing everything via GUI and jumps right into making the power of the command line your friend.”

–Bjorn Tipling, Software Engineer, ask.com

 

“This book is the best distro-agnostic, foundational Linux reference I’ve ever seen, out of dozens of Linux-related books I’ve read. Finding this book was a real stroke of luck. If you want to really understand how to get things done at the command line, where the power and flexibility of free UNIX-like OSes really live, this book is among the best tools you’ll find toward that end.”

–Chad Perrin, Writer, TechRepublic

 

Praise for Other Books by Mark G. Sobell

“I keep searching for books that collect everything you want to know about a subject in one place, and keep getting disappointed. Usually the books leave out some important topic, while others go too deep in some areas and must skim lightly over the others. A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® is one of those rare books that actually pulls it off. Mark G. Sobell has created a single reference for Red Hat Linux that can’t be beat! This marvelous text (with a 4-CD set of Linux Fedora Core 2 included) is well worth the price. This is as close to an ‘everything you ever needed to know’ book that I’ve seen. It’s just that good and rates 5 out of 5.”

–Ray Lodato, Slashdot contributor

 

“Mark Sobell has written a book as approachable as it is authoritative.”

–Jeffrey Bianchine, Advocate, Author, Journalist

 

“Excellent reference book, well suited for the sysadmin of a Linux cluster, or the owner of a PC contemplating installing a recent stable Linux. Don’t be put off by the daunting heft of the book. Sobell has strived to be as inclusive as possible, in trying to anticipate your system administration needs.”

–Wes Boudville, Inventor

 

“A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® is a brilliant book. Thank you Mark Sobell.”

–C. Pozrikidis, University of California at San Diego

 

“This book presents the best overview of the Linux operating system that I have found. . . . [It] should be very helpful and understandable no matter what the reader’s background: traditional UNIX user, new Linux devotee, or even Windows user. Each topic is presented in a clear, complete fashion, and very few assumptions are made about what the reader knows. . . . The book is extremely useful as a reference, as it contains a 70-page glossary of terms and is very well indexed. It is organized in such a way that the reader can focus on simple tasks without having to wade through more advanced topics until they are ready.”

–Cam Marshall, Marshall Information Service LLC, Member of Front Range UNIX Users Group [FRUUG], Boulder, Colorado

 

“Conclusively, this is THE book to get if you are a new Linux user and you just got into the RH/Fedora world. There’s no other book that discusses so many different topics and in such depth.”

–Eugenia Loli-Queru, Editor in Chief, OSNews.com

 

For use with all versions of Linux, including Ubuntu,™ Fedora,™ openSUSE,™ Red Hat,® Debian, Mandriva, Mint, and now OS X, too!




Get more done faster, and become a true Linux guru by mastering the command line!

Learn from hundreds of realistic, high-quality examples

NEW! Coverage of the Mac OS X command line and its unique tools

NEW! Expert primer on automating tasks with Perl

The Most Useful Linux Tutorial and Reference, with Hundreds of High-Quality Examples for Every Distribution–Now Covers OS X and Perl, Too!

 

To be truly productive with Linux, you need to thoroughly master shells and the command line. Until now, you had to buy two books to gain that mastery: a tutorial on fundamental Linux concepts and techniques, plus a separate reference. Now, there’s a far better solution. Renowned Linux expert Mark Sobell has brought together comprehensive, insightful guidance on the tools system administrators, developers, and power users need most, and an outstanding day-to-day reference, both in the same book.

 

This book is 100 percent distribution and release agnostic: You can use it with any Linux system, now and for years to come. Use Macs, too? This new edition adds comprehensive coverage of the Mac OS X command line, including essential OS X-only tools and utilities other Linux/UNIX books ignore.

 

Packed with hundreds of high-quality, realistic examples, this book gives you Linux from the ground up: the clearest explanations and most useful knowledge about everything from filesystems to shells, editors to utilities, and programming tools to regular expressions. Sobell has also added an outstanding new primer on Perl, the most important programming tool for Linux admins seeking to automate complex, time-consuming tasks.

 

A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Second Edition, is the only book to deliver




Better, more realistic examples covering tasks you’ll actually need to perform

Deeper insight, based on Sobell’s immense knowledge of every Linux and OS X nook and cranny

A start-to-finish primer on Perl for every system administrator

In-depth coverage of basic and advanced Linux shell programming with bash and tcsh

Practical explanations of 100 core utilities, from aspell to xargs–including Mac OS X specific utilities from ditto to SetFile

All-new coverage of automating remote backups with rsync

Dozens of system security tips, including step-by-step walkthroughs of implementing secure communications using ssh and scp

Tips and tricks for customizing the shell and using it interactively from the command line

Complete guides to high-productivity editing with both vim and emacs

A comprehensive, 286-page command reference section–now with revised and expanded indexes for faster access to the information you need

Instructions for updating systems automatically with apt-get and yum

Dozens of exercises to help you practice and gain confidence

And much more, including coverage of BitTorrent, gawk, sed, find, sort, bzip2, and regular expressions

 

 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Previous Editions of A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming

“This book is a very useful tool for anyone who wants to ‘look under the hood’ so to speak, and really start putting the power of Linux to work. What I find particularly frustrating about man pages is that they never include examples. Sobell, on the other hand, outlines very clearly what the command does and then gives several common, easy-to-understand examples that make it a breeze to start shell programming on one’s own. As with Sobell’s other works, this is simple, straight-forward, and easy to read. It’s a great book and will stay on the shelf at easy arm’s reach for a long time.”

–Ray Bartlett, Travel Writer

“Overall I found this book to be quite excellent, and it has earned a spot on the very front of my bookshelf. It covers the real ‘guts’ of Linux– the command line and its utilities–and does so very well. Its strongest points are the outstanding use of examples, and the Command Reference section. Highly recommended for Linux users of all skill levels. Well done to Mark Sobell and Prentice Hall for this outstanding book!”

–Dan Clough, Electronics Engineer and Slackware Linux User

“Totally unlike most Linux books, this book avoids discussing everything via GUI and jumps right into making the power of the command line your friend.”

–Bjorn Tipling, Software Engineer, ask.com

“This book is the best distro-agnostic, foundational Linux reference I’ve ever seen, out of dozens of Linux-related books I’ve read. Finding this book was a real stroke of luck. If you want to really understand how to get things done at the command line, where the power and flexibility of free UNIX-like OSes really live, this book is among the best tools you’ll find toward that end.”

–Chad Perrin, Writer, TechRepublic

“I moved to Linux from Windows XP a couple of years ago, and after some distro hopping settled on Linux Mint. At age 69 I thought I might be biting off more than I could chew, but thanks to much reading and the help of a local LUG I am now quite at home with Linux at the GUI level. “Now I want to learn more about the CLI and a few months ago bought your book: A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Second Edition.

“For me, this book is proving to be the foundation upon which my understanding of the CLI is being built. As a comparative ‘newbie’ to the Linux world, I find your book a wonderful, easy-to-follow guide that I highly recommend to other Linux users.”

–John Nawell, CQLUG (Central Queensland Linux User Group)

“I have the second edition of A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming and am a big fan. I used it while working as a Cisco support engineer. I plan to get the third edition as soon as it is released. We will be doing a ton of command-line work on literally 1000 boxes (IMS core nodes). I feel you have already given me a lot of tools with the second edition. I want to get your new book as soon as possible. The way you write works very well for my style of learning.”

–Robert Lingenfelter, Support Engineer, VoIP/IMS

Praise for Other Books by Mark G. Sobell

“Since I’m in an educational environment, I found the content of Sobell’s book to be right on target and very helpful for anyone managing Linux in the enterprise. His style of writing is very clear. He builds up to the chapter exercises, which I find to be relevant to real-world scenarios a user or admin would encounter. An IT/IS student would find this book a valuable complement to their education. The vast amount of information is extremely well balanced and Sobell manages to present the content without complicated asides and meandering prose. This is a ‘must have’ for anyone managing Linux systems in a networked environment or anyone running a Linux server. I would also highly recommend it to an experienced computer user who is moving to the Linux platform.”

–Mary Norbury, IT Director, Barbara Davis Center, University of Colorado at Denver, from a review posted on slashdot.org

“I had the chance to use your UNIX books when I when was in college years ago at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA. I have to say that your books are among the best! They’re quality books that teach the theoretical aspects and applications of the operating system.”

–Benton Chan, IS Engineer

“The book has more than lived up to my expectations from the many reviews I read, even though it targets FC2. I have found something very rare with your book: It doesn’t read like the standard technical text, it reads more like a story. It’s a pleasure to read and hard to put down. Did I say that?! :-)”

–David Hopkins, Business Process Architect

“Thanks for your work and for the book you wrote. There are really few books that can help people to become more efficient administrators of different workstations. We hope (in Russia) that you will continue bringing us a new level of understanding of Linux/UNIX systems.”

–Anton Petukhov

“Mark Sobell has written a book as approachable as it is authoritative.”

–Jeffrey Bianchine, Advocate, Author, Journalist

“Excellent reference book, well suited for the sysadmin of a Linux cluster, or the owner of a PC contemplating installing a recent stable Linux. Don’t be put off by the daunting heft of the book. Sobell has striven to be as inclusive as possible, in trying to anticipate your system administration needs.”

–Wes Boudville, Inventor

A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® is a brilliant book. Thank you, Mark Sobell.”

–C. Pozrikidis, University of California at San Diego

“This book presents the best overview of the Linux operating system that I have found. . . . [It] should be very helpful and understandable no matter what the reader’s background: traditional UNIX user, new Linux devotee, or even Windows user. Each topic is presented in a clear, complete fashion and very few assumptions are made about what the reader knows. . . . The book is extremely useful as a reference, as it contains a 70-page glossary of terms and is very well indexed. It is organized in such a way that the reader can focus on simple tasks without having to wade through more advanced topics until they are ready.”

–Cam Marshall, Marshall Information Service LLC, Member of Front Range UNIX Users Group [FRUUG], Boulder, Colorado

“Conclusively, this is THE book to get if you are a new Linux user and you just got into RH/Fedora world. There’s no other book that discusses so many different topics and in such depth.”

–Eugenia Loli-Queru, Editor in Chief, OSNews.com

“I currently own one of your books, A Practical Guide to Linux®. I believe this book is one of the most comprehensive and, as the title says, practical guides to Linux I have ever read. I consider myself a novice and I come back to this book over and over again.”

–Albert J. Nguyen

“Thank you for writing a book to help me get away from Windows XP and to never touch Windows Vista. The book is great; I am learning a lot of new concepts and commands. Linux is definitely getting easier to use.”

–James Moritz

“I am so impressed by how Mark Sobell can approach a complex topic in such an understandable manner. His command examples are especially useful in providing a novice (or even an advanced) administrator with a cookbook on how to accomplish real-world tasks on Linux. He is truly an inspired technical writer!”

–George Vish II, Senior Education Consultant, Hewlett-Packard Company

“Overall, I think it’s a great, comprehensive Ubuntu book that’ll be a valuable resource for people of all technical levels.”

–John Dong, Ubuntu Forum Council Member, Backports Team Leader

“The JumpStart sections really offer a quick way to get things up and running, allowing you to dig into the details of the book later.”

–Scott Mann, Aztek Networks

“I would so love to be able to use this book to teach a class about not just Ubuntu or Linux but about computers in general. It is thorough and well written with good illustrations that explain important concepts for computer usage.”

–Nathan Eckenrode, New York Local Community Team

“Ubuntu is gaining popularity at the rate alcohol did during Prohibition, and it’s great to see a well-known author write a book on the latest and greatest version. Not only does it contain Ubuntu-specific information, but it also touches on general computer-related topics, which will help the average computer user to better understand what’s going on in the background. Great work, Mark!”

–Daniel R. Arfsten, Pro/ENGINEER Drafter/Designer

“I read a lot of Linux technical information every day, but I’m rarely impressed by tech books. I usually prefer online information sources instead. Mark Sobell’s books are a notable exception. They’re clearly written, technically accurate, comprehensive, and actually enjoyable to read.”

–Matthew Miller, Senior Systems Analyst/Administrator, BU Linux Project, Boston University Office of Information Technology

“This is well-written, clear, comprehensive information for the Linux user of any type, whether trying Ubuntu on for the first time and wanting to know a little about it, or using the book as a very good reference when doing something more complicated like setting up a server. This book’s value goes well beyond its purchase price and it’ll make a great addition to the Linux section of your bookshelf.”

–Linc Fessenden, Host of The LinuxLink TechShow, tllts.org

“The author has done a very good job at clarifying such a detail-oriented operating system. I have extensive Unix and Windows experience and this text does an excellent job at bridging the gaps between Linux, Windows, and Unix. I highly recommend this book to both ‘newbs’ and experienced users. Great job!”

–Mark Polczynski, Information Technology Consultant

“Your text, A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®, Third Edition, is a well constructed, informative, superbly written text. You deserve an award for outstanding talent; unfortunately my name is not Pulitzer.”

–Harrison Donnelly, Physician

“When I first started working with Linux just a short ten years or so ago, it was a little more difficult than now to get going. . . . Now, someone new to the community has a vast array of resources available on the web, or if they are inclined to begin with Ubuntu, they can literally find almost every single thing they will need in the single volume of Mark Sobell’s A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®.

“I’m sure this sounds a bit like hyperbole. Everything a person would need to know? Obviously not everything, but this book, weighing in at just under 1200 pages, covers so much so thoroughly that there won’t be much left out. From install to admin, networking, security, shell scripting, package management, and a host of other topics, it is all there. GUI and command-line tools are covered. There is not really any wasted space or fluff, just a huge amount of information. There are screen shots when appropriate but they do not take up an inordinate amount of space. This book is information-dense.”

–JR Peck, Editor, GeekBook.org

“I have been wanting to make the jump to Linux but did not have the guts to do so–until I saw your familiarly titled A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® at the bookstore. I picked up a copy and am eagerly looking forward to regaining my freedom.”

–Carmine Stoffo, Machine and Process Designer to pharmaceutical industry

“I am currently reading A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® and am finally understanding the true power of the command line. I am new to Linux and your book is a treasure.”

–Juan Gonzalez

“Overall, A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux® by Mark G. Sobell provides all of the information a beginner to intermediate user of Linux would need to be productive. The inclusion of the Live DVD of the Gutsy Gibbon release of Ubuntu makes it easy for the user to test-drive Linux without affecting his installed OS. I have no doubts that you will consider this book money well spent.”

–Ray Lodato, Slashdot contributor, www.slashdot.org

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131367364
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 11/27/2009
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 1034
  • Sales rank: 458,195
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark G. Sobell is President of Sobell Associates Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in UNIX/Linux training, support, and custom software development. He has more than thirty years of experience working with UNIX and Linux systems and is the author of many best-selling books, including A Practical Guide to Fedora™ and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, Sixth Edition, and A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®, Third Edition, both from Prentice Hall.

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Table of Contents

Preface xxxvii

Chapter 1: Welcome to Linux and Mac OS X 1

The History of UNIX and GNU—Linux 3

What Is So Good About Linux? 6

Overview of Linux 11

Additional Features of Linux 16

Chapter Summary 18

Exercises 18

Part I: The Linux and Mac OS X Operating Systems 21

Chapter 2: Getting Started 23

Conventions Used in This Book 24

Logging In from a Terminal (Emulator) 26

Working from the Command Line 28

su/sudo: Curbing Your Power (root Privileges) 32

Where to Find Documentation 33

More About Logging In and Passwords 42

Chapter Summary 46

Exercises 46

Advanced Exercises 47

Chapter 3: The Utilities 49

Special Characters 50

Basic Utilities 51

Working with Files 53

(Pipeline): Communicates Between Processes 60

Four More Utilities 61

Compressing and Archiving Files 63

Locating Utilities 68

Displaying User and System Information 70

Communicating with Other Users 74

Email 76

Chapter Summary 76

Exercises 79

Advanced Exercises 80

Chapter 4: The Filesystem 81

The Hierarchical Filesystem 82

Directory Files and Ordinary Files 83

Pathnames 87

Working with Directories 90

Access Permissions 98

ACLs: Access Control Lists 104

Links 109

Chapter Summary 119

Exercises 120

Advanced Exercises 122

Chapter 5: The Shell 125

The Command Line 126

Standard Input and Standard Output 133

Running a Command in the Background 146

Filename Generation/Pathname Expansion 148

Builtins 153

Chapter Summary 153

Exercises 155

Advanced Exercises 156

Part II: The Editors 157

Chapter 6: The vim Editor 159

History 160

Tutorial: Using vim to Create and Edit a File 161

Introduction to vim Features 168

Command Mode: Moving the Cursor 174

Input Mode 178

Command Mode: Deleting and Changing Text 179

Searching and Substituting 183

Miscellaneous Commands 190

Copying, Moving, and Deleting Text 190

Reading and Writing Files 193

Setting Parameters 194

Advanced Editing Techniques 199

Units of Measure 203

Chapter Summary 206

Exercises 211

Advanced Exercises 212

Chapter 7: The emacs Editor 213

History 214

Tutorial: Getting Started with emacs 216

Basic Editing Commands 223

Online Help 229

Advanced Editing 232

Major Modes: Language-Sensitive Editing 246

Customizing emacs 256

More Information 260

Chapter Summary 261

Exercises 269

Advanced Exercises 270

Part III: The Shells 273

Chapter 8: The Bourne Again Shell (bash) 275

Background 276

Startup Files 278

Commands That Are Symbols 281

Redirecting Standard Error 282

Writing and Executing a Simple Shell Script 284

Control Operators: Separate and Group Commands 289

Job Control 294

Manipulating the Directory Stack 297

Parameters and Variables 300

Special Characters 315

Locale 316

Time 320

Processes 323

History 326

Aliases 342

Functions 346

Controlling bash: Features and Options 349

Processing the Command Line 354

Chapter Summary 364

Exercises 366

Advanced Exercises 368

Chapter 9: The TC Shell (tcsh) 369

Shell Scripts 370

Entering and Leaving the TC Shell 371

Features Common to the Bourne Again and TC Shells 373

Redirecting Standard Error 379

Working with the Command Line 380

Variables 385

Control Structures 398

Builtins 407

Chapter Summary 411

Exercises 412

Advanced Exercises 414

Part IV: Programming Tools 415

Chapter 10: Programming the Bourne Again Shell (bash) 417

Control Structures 418

File Descriptors 452

Parameters 458

Variables 467

Builtin Commands 476

Expressions 492

Implicit Command-Line Continuation 499

Shell Programs 500

Chapter Summary 510

Exercises 512

Advanced Exercises 514

Chapter 11: The Perl Scripting Language 517

Introduction to Perl 518

Variables 526

Control Structures 533

Working with Files 542

Sort 546

Subroutines 547

Regular Expressions 550

CPAN Modules 555

Examples 558

Chapter Summary 561

Exercises 562

Advanced Exercises 562

Chapter 12: The Python Programming Language 563

Introduction 564

Scalar Variables, Lists, and Dictionaries 568

Control Structures 574

Reading from and Writing to Files 579

Regular Expressions 583

Defining a Function 584

Using Libraries 585

Lambda Functions 589

List Comprehensions 590

Chapter Summary 591

Exercises 592

Advanced Exercises 592

Chapter 13: The MySQL Database Management System 595

Notes 596

Installing a MySQL Server and Client 599

Client Options 600

Setting Up MySQL 601

Creating a Database 603

Adding a User 604

Examples 605

Chapter Summary 617

Exercises 617

Chapter 14: The AWK Pattern Processing Language 619

Syntax 620

Arguments 620

Options 621

Notes 622

Language Basics 622

Examples 629

Advanced gawk Programming 646

Chapter Summary 651

Exercises 651

Advanced Exercises 652

Chapter 15: The sed Editor 653

Syntax 654

Arguments 654

Options 654

Editor Basics 655

Examples 658

Chapter Summary 669

Exercises 669

Part V: Secure Network Utilities 671

Chapter 16: The rsync Secure Copy Utility 673

Syntax 674

Arguments 674

Options 675

Examples 677

Chapter Summary 684

Exercises 685

Chapter 17: The OpenSSH Secure Communication Utilities 687

Introduction to OpenSSH 688

Running the ssh, scp, and sftp OpenSSH Clients 691

Tunneling/Port Forwarding 706

Chapter Summary 708

Exercises 709

Advanced Exercises 709

Part VI: Command Reference 711

Utilities That Display and Manipulate Files 713

Network Utilities 714

Utilities That Display and Alter Status 715

Utilities That Are Programming Tools 716

Miscellaneous Utilities 716

Standard Multiplicative Suffixes 717

Common Options 718

The sample Utility 718

sample: Brief description of what the utility does 719

aspell: Checks a file for spelling errors 721

at: Executes commands at a specified time 725

busybox: Implements many standard utilities 729

bzip2: Compresses or decompresses files 732

cal: Displays a calendar 734

cat: Joins and displays files 735

cd: Changes to another working directory 737

chgrp: Changes the group associated with a file 739

chmod: Changes the access mode (permissions) of a file 741

chown: Changes the owner of a file and/or the group the file is associated with 746

cmp: Compares two files 748

comm: Compares sorted files 750

configure: Configures source code automatically 752

cp: Copies files 754

cpio: Creates an archive, restores files from an archive, or copies a directory hierarchy 758

crontab: Maintains crontab files 763

cut: Selects characters or fields from input lines 766

date: Displays or sets the system time and date 769

dd: Converts and copies a file 772

df: Displays disk space usage 775

diff: Displays the differences between two text files 777

diskutil: Checks, modifies, and repairs local volumes (OS X) 782

ditto: Copies files and creates and unpacks archives (OS X) 785

dmesg: Displays kernel messages 787

dscl: Displays and manages Directory Service information (OS X) 788

du: Displays information on disk usage by directory hierarchy and/or file 791

echo: Displays a message 794

expand/unexpand: Converts TABs to SPACEs and SPACEs to TABs 796

expr: Evaluates an expression 798

file: Displays the classification of a file 802

find: Finds files based on criteria 804

finger: Displays information about users 810

fmt: Formats text very simply 812

fsck: Checks and repairs a filesystem 814

ftp: Transfers files over a network 819

gawk: Searches for and processes patterns in a file 825

gcc: Compiles C and C++ programs 826

GetFileInfo: Displays file attributes (OS X) 831

grep: Searches for a pattern in files 833

gzip: Compresses or decompresses files 838

head: Displays the beginning of a file 841

join: Joins lines from two files based on a common field 843

kill: Terminates a process by PID 846

killall: Terminates a process by name 848

launchctl: Controls the launchd daemon (OS X) 850

less: Displays text files, one screen at a time 852

ln: Makes a link to a file 856

lpr: Sends files to printers 858

ls: Displays information about one or more files 861

make: Keeps a set of programs current 869

man: Displays documentation for utilities 875

mc: Manages files in a textual environment (aka Midnight Commander) 879

mkdir: Creates a directory 886

mkfs: Creates a filesystem on a device 887

mv: Renames or moves a file 890

nice: Changes the priority of a command 892

nl: Numbers lines from a file 894

nohup: Runs a command that keeps running after you log out 896

od: Dumps the content of a file 897

open: Opens files, directories, and URLs (OS X) 901

otool: Displays object, library, and executable files (OS X) 903

paste: Joins corresponding lines from files 905

pax: Creates an archive, restores files from an archive, or copies a directory hierarchy 907

plutil: Manipulates property list files (OS X) 913

pr: Paginates files for printing 915

printf: Formats string and numeric data 917

ps: Displays process status 921

renice: Changes the priority of a process 925

rm: Removes a file (deletes a link) 926

rmdir: Removes directories 928

rsync: Copies files and directory hierarchies securely over a network 929

scp: Securely copies one or more files to or from a remote system 930

screen: Manages several textual windows 931

sed: Edits a file noninteractively 937

SetFile: Sets file attributes (OS X) 938

sleep: Creates a process that sleeps for a specified interval 940

sort: Sorts and/or merges files 942

split: Divides a file into sections 951

ssh: Securely executes commands on a remote system 953

sshfs/curlftpfs: Mounts a directory on an OpenSSH or FTP server as a local directory 954

stat: Displays information about files 957

strings: Displays strings of printable characters from files 959

stty: Displays or sets terminal parameters 960

sysctl: Displays and alters kernel variables at runtime 964

tail: Displays the last part (tail) of a file 965

tar: Stores or retrieves files to/from an archive file 968

tee: Copies standard input to standard output and one or more files 973

telnet: Connects to a remote computer over a network 974

test: Evaluates an expression 978

top: Dynamically displays process status 981

touch: Creates a file or changes a file’s access and/or modification time 985

tr: Replaces specified characters 987

tty: Displays the terminal pathname 990

tune2fs: Changes parameters on an ext2, ext3, or ext4 filesystem 991

umask: Specifies the file-creation permissions mask 994

uniq: Displays unique lines from a file 996

w: Displays information about local system users 998

wc: Displays the number of lines, words, and bytes in one or more files 1000

which: Shows where in PATH a utility is located 1001

who: Displays information about logged-in users 1003

xargs: Converts standard input to command lines 1005

Part VII: Appendixes 1009

Appendix A: Regular Expressions 1011

Characters 1012

Delimiters 1012

Simple Strings 1012

Special Characters 1012

Rules 1015

Bracketing Expressions 1016

The Replacement String 1016

Extended Regular Expressions 1017

Appendix Summary 1019

Appendix B: Help 1021

Solving a Problem 1022

Finding Linux and OS X Related Information 1023

Specifying a Terminal 1024

Appendix C: Keeping the System Up-to-Date 1027

Using yum 1028

Using apt-get 1034

BitTorrent 1038

Appendix D: Mac OS X Notes 1041

Open Directory 1042

Filesystems 1043

Extended Attributes 1044

Activating the Terminal META Key 1049

Startup Files 1050

Remote Logins 1050

Many Utilities Do Not Respect Apple Human Interface Guidelines 1050

Installing Xcode and MacPorts 1050

Mac OS X Implementation of Linux Features 1051

Glossary 1053

File Tree Index 1105

Utility Index 1107

Main Index 1111

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty close to a perfect starter book

    Sobell is very good at guiding the reader through the use of the command line. The text is clear and provides many good examples to help the reader see exactly what he is talking about. The chapter exercises are helpful and directly complement the material. The only issue I have with the book is the constant reference to the man pages. If I wanted to learn from the man pages, I wouldn't have bought the book. It does a have a good section that covers specific commands. Some of the documentation is actually much better than the man pages. Overall, this is a great book to get the Linux newcomer using a shell and understanding what is going on.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2005

    Book Review: A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming

    I recently was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of this book from Prentice Hall publishers, and am happy to submit this review. I found this very large volume (1008 pages!) to be quite interesting and a valuable source of information for both Linux beginners and veterans alike. As the title may suggest, it covers some of the most commonly used Linux commands, the two main editors (Vim and Emacs), and some shell programming techniques with the Bash and tcsh shells. I found it to be quite ¿distro-neutral¿, as the material presented should be available on virtually any Linux system, and does not reference distro-specific tools. The book seems very well organized into Parts and Chapters, and there are also some excellent appendices and additional matter at the end of the book, which I¿ll discuss later in this review. Part I is entitled ¿The Linux Operating System¿, and starts out with some introductory ¿welcome¿ and ¿getting started¿ material which is good reading for newbies but can easily be skipped by others. The next chapter in this part covers how to use the more commonly used commands such as ls, cp, rm, and tar. This is followed up by a chapter on the Linux filesystem, including the hierarchical layout, directories, pathnames, permissions, and file links. There is a nice section in this chapter which describes what is found in nearly all of the standard directories such as /boot, /etc, /home, /usr, and so on. Also notable here was an excellent description of how to set (and understand!) file and directory permissions. The final chapter in this part provides an introduction to the shell and command line. It covers standard input/output, redirection, pipes, and backgrounding of commands. Most of the information in these first 5 chapters will probably be a review for more experienced Linux users, but they are outstanding reading for newcomers. One thing I did notice as a great feature of the book is that there is a ¿Chapter Summary¿ at the end of each chapter which is really excellent, and a list of ¿Exercises¿ to help you see and use the information in a more hands-on way. Part II is called simply ¿The Editors¿, and devotes about 60 pages each to Vim and Emacs. A brief history of each is provided, and a pretty good tutorial of basic usage is walked through. Both chapters include a command referance/summary, and some customization tips. Even the well known ¿debate¿ about which editor to use is mentioned, although no preference is indicated. For the record, this writer prefers Vim¿ J There are more in-depth books available to explain each editor in greater detail, but these chapters provide a good introductory lesson. Part III contains two chapters, one each on the ¿bash¿ shell and the ¿tcsh¿ shell. Some of the procedures and concepts in this part may well be more information than is desired by many Linux users, but command-line types will want to read all of this material. The differences between these two shells are discussed, and the fact that most users will only need to learn about ¿bash¿, as it is normally the default shell on most modern Linux distributions. I found some good information on customizing your shell, and using the ¿dot files¿ such as .bash_profile and .bashrc to control things like aliases and your environment variables. Part IV covers ¿Programming Tools¿. The first chapter here discusses programming in C, including the basics of the gcc compiler, using shared libraries, debugging procedures, system calls, and source code management (CVS). It should be noted that this chapter describes the process of writing and compiling programs with C, but is not intended to teach C programming if you don¿t already understand most of it. The next chapter (11) is a quite extensive (about 100 pages) discussion of programming with the Bash shell. It covers control structures, parameters, variables, loops, arrays, expressions, functions, and builtin commands. Numerous examples a

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006

    Very easy to understand.

    If you have never programmed before, this is for you. The time I installed Linux, and realized that if u want to learn how to use linux, is though CLI, i realized I had to get a book. This is a great book, because unlike other books, all, and I mean all the codes are fully functional. (yea, I once bought a C++ book with codes that missed quotes and prentecies). Linux CLI = this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    within linux, the book doesn't take sides

    Sobell expands on his earlier books to give us this latest offering. Somewhat monumental in scope. Basically because the intended audience is quite diverse. He suggests that you could fall into any of these categories - system administrator, programmer, or new Linux user. And if you are a sysadmin or programmer, your prior experience with Linux might vary from none to considerable. The book also attempts not to play favourites concerning the various Linux distributions that exist - from Red Hat, Novell/SUSE, Debian, Knoppix and others. These essentially have a commonality of functionality which the book documents. This approach may be better than trying to discern the comparative advantages of each distribution. He also follows this when describing the two most common shells used in Linux - the Bourne shell and the T shell. Each is considered important enough to warrant its own chapter. You can take your pick as to which you prefer. Yet again, this is done with the two text editors, vim and emacs. In the unix world, the debate between their proponents has spawned innumerable threads in newsgroups. Basically, vim is simpler to use but emacs is more powerful. Anyway, he gives each editor its own chapter, with enough details in both so that you can decide according to your own preferences. If you really can't decide, just plump for one at random and stick to it. Both are good enough that you won't go wrong.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2006

    Great!

    If you are beginner, this is for you. I've just installed Linux SuSE 10.1 and this book even stated how to access bash! It even explains how vi(m) and emacs work - a lot of functions! The shortcuts and other cuts. I'm half done and really feel like an experienced programmer. Now I even run a command-line only server on my old 600mhz sony, even though it is not explained how to do so, 90% came out of the book - how to access specific directory, how to write index.html file, and many other things. I still going to go through set of chapters of shell programming and I can't wait. Like I've stated, this is a great book if youre a starter with Linux!

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    Posted December 22, 2009

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    Posted November 22, 2011

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    Posted April 25, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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