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TheLinuxGurus.org: Incredibly Simple Shell Programming

Jan 20, 2000, 08:01 (3 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to David Culp for this link. ]

"All to often the main complaint I have heard from people who have newly switched to Linux is the command line. Most complain that Linux MUST be an inferior OS because it relies much to heavily on the command line. You will also hear detractors of Linux say the same thing. They do not realize that in the command line lies true power, only once you have mastered the art of the command line, and the shell, can you truly begin to extract real power and flexibility from the machine."

"If you are not familiar with the term 'shell' I will explain. The shell is your interface to the machine, it is how you interact and communicate with Linux. In DOS this is most often called a command interpreter, however the DOS command line and the Linux shell are only distant third cousins at best, the Linux shell blows away the DOS command line. In fact, the DOS command line under todays Windows OS is pretty much unusable except for very simple tasks (well its never been that great to begin with). Put simply, when you type in a command the shell interprets it and spits out a result. You can combine many of these commands into a file, called a shell script, and execute them at once. This is called shell programming and is a powerful feature of Linux (and all Unix's). You may also combine many of the commands on a single line in order to execute multiple statements at a time, simply use plenty of ;'s to seperate the individual commands!"

"If you are coming from MS Windows, you know there is only one shell prompt available, and that is the DOS prompt. There are many shells available for Linux and which one you use depends on your personal preferences. The most common shell is use today is the BASH shell, which stands for Bourne Again Shell and is a free implementation of the Bourne shell."

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