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Writing Better Shell Scripts � Part 1

Jun 16, 2010, 05:13 (0 Talkback[s])

"One of the difficulties with debugging a shell script is that BASH typically doesn't give you very much information to go on. You might get error output showing a line number, but that's just the line where the shell became aware of the error, not necessarily the line where the error actually occurred. Add in a vague error message such as the one in Listing 1, and it gets difficult to tell what's going on inside your script.

"This post is written with the intent of giving you knowledge that will help when you see an error like the one in Listing 1 while trying to run a script. This type of error is just one of many errors that the shell may give you, and is more easily dealt with when you have a good understanding of scripting syntax and the debugging tools at your disposal.

"Along with talking about debugging tools/techniques, I'm going to introduce a handy script debugger called BASHDB. BASHDB allows you to step through a script in much the same way as a program debugger like GNU's GDB does with C code."

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