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Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, A

Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, A

Mark Sobell

Jul 2005, Paperback, 1008 pages
ISBN13: 9780131478237
ISBN10: 0131478230
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£28.99

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Praise for Mark Sobell’s Books

“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 cannot 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 striven to be as inclusive as possible, in trying to anticipate your system administration needs.”
—Wes Boudville, InventorA 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 is: 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.comThe Most Useful Linux Tutorial and Reference Ever, with Hundreds of High-Quality Examples Covering Every Linux Distribution!

To be truly productive with Linux, you need to thoroughly master the 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. Worse, most Linux references offer little more than prettied-up man pages. 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 on any Linux system, now and for years to come. What’s more, it’s packed with hundreds of high-quality examples: better examples than you’ll find in any other Linux guidebook. This is 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. And when you need instant answers, you’ll constantly turn to Sobell’s comprehensive command reference section—organized and tabbed for easy, fast access!

Don’t settle for yesterday’s Linux guidebook. Get the one book that meets today’s challenges—and tomorrow’s!

A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming is the most useful, most comprehensive Linux tutorial and reference you can find. It’s 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 nook and cranny
  • More practical explanations of more than eighty core utilities, from aspell to xargs
  • Techniques for implementing secure communications using ssh and scp—plus dozens of tips for making your system more secure
  • A superior introduction to the Linux programming environment, including make, gcc, gdb, CVS, and much more
  • Expert guidance on basic and advanced shell programming using bash and tcsh
  • Tips and tricks for customizing the shell and using it interactively from the command line
  • Thorough guides to vim and emacs, designed to help you get productive fast and maximize your editing efficiency
  • Dozens of exercises to help you practice and gain confidence
  • Instructions for using Apt, yum, and BitTorrent for keeping your system up to date automatically
  • And much more, including coverage of gawk, sed, find, sort, bzip2, and regular expressions


Preface xxviiChapter 1: Welcome to Linux 1

The GNU-Linux Connection 2

The Heritage of Linux: UNIX 5

What Is So Good About Linux? 6

Overview of Linux 10

Additional Features of Linux 15

Chapter Summary 16

Exercises 17

Part I: The Linux Operating System 19Chapter 2: Getting Started 21

Conventions Used in This Book 22

Logging In 24

Working with the Shell 25

Curbing Your Power: Superuser Access 28

Getting the Facts: Where to Find Documentation 29

More About Logging In 35

Chapter Summary 38

Exercises 39

Advanced Exercises 39

Chapter 3: Command Line Utilities 41

Special Characters 42

Basic Utilities 43

Working with Files 45

| (Pipe): Communicates Between Processes 52

Four More Utilities 53

Compressing and Archiving Files 56

Locating Commands 61

Obtaining User and System Information 63

Communicating with Other Users 67

Email 69

Chapter Summary 69

Exercises 72

Advanced Exercises 73

Chapter 4: The Linux Filesystem 75

The Hierarchical Filesystem 76

Directory and Ordinary Files 77

Working with Directories 88

Access Permissions 91

Links 96

Chapter Summary 102

Exercises 103

Advanced Exercises 105

Chapter 5: The Shell 107

The Command Line 108

Standard Input and Standard Output 113

Running a Program in the Background 125

Filename Generation/Pathname Expansion 127

Builtins 132

Chapter Summary 133

Exercises 134

Advanced Exercises 136

Part II: The Editors 137Chapter 6: The vim Editor 139

History 140

Tutorial: Creating and Editing a File with vim 141

The compatible Parameter 148

Introduction to vim Features 148

Command Mode: Moving the Cursor 154

Input Mode 158

Command Mode: Deleting and Changing Text 160

Searching and Substituting 164

Miscellaneous Commands 170

Yank, Put, and Delete Commands 171

Reading and Writing Files 174

Setting Parameters 175

Advanced Editing Techniques 180

Units of Measure 184

Chapter Summary 188

Exercises 193

Advanced Exercises 194

Chapter 7: The emacs Editor 195

History 196

Tutorial: Getting Started with emacs 198

Basic Editing Commands 204

Online Help 209

Advanced Editing 212

Language-Sensitive Editing 225

Customizing emacs 235

More Information 240

Chapter Summary 241

Exercises 248

Advanced Exercises 250

Part III: The Shells 253Chapter 8: The Bourne Again Shell 255

Background 256

Shell Basics 257

Parameters and Variables 277

Processes 292

History 295

Aliases 312

Functions 315

Controlling bash Features and Options 318

Processing the Command Line 322

Chapter Summary 332

Exercises 334

Advanced Exercises 336

Chapter 9: The TC Shell 339

Shell Scripts 340

Entering and Leaving the TC Shell 341

Features Common to the Bourne Again and TC Shells 343

Redirecting Standard Error 349

Working with the Command Line 350

Variables 355

Control Structures 368

Builtins 377

Chapter Summary 381

Exercises 382

Advanced Exercises 384

Part IV: Programming Tools 385Chapter 10: Programming Tools 387

Programming in C 388

Using Shared Libraries 396

make: Keeps a Set of Programs Current 399

Debugging C Programs 407

Threads 417

System Calls 417

Source Code Management 420

Chapter Summary 430

Exercises 431

Advanced Exercises 432

Chapter 11: Programming the Bourne Again Shell 435

Control Structures 436

File Descriptors 470

Parameters and Variables 474

Builtin Commands 487

Expressions 501

Shell Programs 510

Chapter Summary 520

Exercises 522

Advanced Exercises 524

Chapter 12: The gawk Pattern Processing Language 527

Syntax 528

Arguments 528

Options 529

Notes 529

Language Basics 530

Examples 537

Advanced gawk Programming 554

Error Messages 559

Chapter Summary 560

Exercises 561

Advanced Exercises 561

Chapter 13: The sed Editor 563

Syntax 564

Arguments 564

Options 564

Editor Basics 565

Examples 568

Chapter Summary 578

Exercises 579

Part V: Command Reference 581

Standard Multiplicative Suffixes 586

Common Options 587

The sample Utility 587

sample: Very brief description of what the utility does 588

aspell: Checks a file for spelling errors 589

at: Executes commands at a specified time 593

bzip2: Compresses or decompresses files 596

cal: Displays a calendar 598

cat: Joins and displays files 599

cd: Changes to another working directory 601

chgrp: Changes the group associated with a file 603

chmod: Changes the access mode (permissions) of a file 604

chown: Changes the owner of a file and/or the group the file is associated with 608

cmp: Compares two files 610

comm: Compares sorted files 612

configure: Configures source code automatically 614

cp: Copies files 616

cpio: Creates an archive or restores files from an archive 619

crontab: Maintains crontab files 624

cut: Selects characters or fields from input lines 627

date: Displays or sets the system time and date 630

dd: Converts and copies a file 633

df: Displays disk space usage 636

diff: Displays the differences between two files 638

du: Displays information on disk usage by file 644

echo: Displays a message 647

expr: Evaluates an expression 649

file: Displays the classification of a file 653

find: Finds files based on criteria 655

finger: Displays information about users 661

fmt: Formats text very simply 664

fsck: Checks and repairs a filesystem 666

ftp: Transfers files over a network 671

gcc: Compiles C and C++ programs 678

grep: Searches for a pattern in files 683

gzip: Compresses or decompresses files 688

head: Displays the beginning of a file 691

kill: Terminates a process by PID 693

killall: Terminates a process by name 695

less: Displays text files, one screen at a time 697

ln: Makes a link to a file 702

lpr: Sends files to printers 705

ls: Displays information about one or more files 708

make: Keeps a set of programs current 715

man: Displays documentation for commands 721

mkdir: Creates a directory 724

mkfs: Creates a filesystem on a device 725

Mtools: Uses DOS-style commands on files and directories 728

mv: Renames or moves a file 732

nice: Changes the priority of a command 734

nohup: Runs a command that keeps running after you log out 736

od: Dumps the contents of a file 737

paste: Joins corresponding lines from files 742

pr: Paginates files for printing 744

ps: Displays process status 746

rcp: Copies one or more files to or from a remote system 750

rlogin: Logs in on a remote system 752

rm: Removes a file (deletes a link) 753

rmdir: Removes a directory 755

rsh: Executes commands on a remote system 756

scp: Securely copies one or more files to or from a remote system 758

sleep: Creates a process that sleeps for a specified interval 760

sort: Sorts and/or merges files 762

split: Divides a file in into sections 771

ssh: Securely executes commands on a remote system 773

strings: Displays strings of printable characters 777

stty: Displays or sets terminal parameters 778

tail: Displays the last part (tail) of a file 783

tar: Stores or retrieves files to/from an archive file 786

tee: Copies standard input to standard output and one or more files 791

telnet: Connects to a remote system over a network 792

test: Evaluates an expression 794

top: Dynamically displays process status 798

touch: Changes a file's access and/or modification time 801

tr: Replaces specified characters 804

tty: Displays the terminal pathname 807

tune2fs: Changes parameters on an ext2 or ext3 filesystem 808

umask: Establishes the file-creation permissions mask 810

uniq: Displays unique lines 812

w: Displays information about system users 814

wc: Displays the number of lines, words, and bytes 816

which: Shows where in PATH a command is located 817

who: Displays information about logged-in users 819

xargs: Converts standard input into command lines 821

Part VI: Appendixes 825Appendix A: Regular Expressions 827

Characters 828

Delimiters 828

Simple Strings 828

Special Characters 828

Rules 831

Bracketing Expressions 832

The Replacement String 833

Extended Regular Expressions 834

Appendix Summary 835

Appendix B: Help 837

Solving a Problem 838

Finding Linux-Related Information 839

Specifying a Terminal 844

Appendix C: Keeping the System Up-to-Date 847

yum: Updates and Installs Packages 848

Apt: An Alternative to yum 850

BitTorrent 855

Glossary 859Index 913

Appropriate for:

  • Students taking a class in which they use Linux
  • Computer science students who are studying the Linux operating system
  • Students learning system administration who need a deeper understanding of Linux and the tools available

The essential reference for core commands that Linux users need daily, along with

superior tutorial on shell programming and much more

o The book is a complete revision of the commands section of Sobell's Practical

o Guide to Linux -- a proven best-seller

o The book is Linux distribution and release agnostic. It will appeal to users of ALL

o Linux distributions.

o ° Superior examples make this book the best option on the market!

Mark G. Sobell is president of Sobell Associates Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in UNIX/Linux training, support, and custom software development. He is the author of many best-selling UNIX and Linux books and has more than twenty-five years of experience working with UNIX and Linux.