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Shell Intro

Shell Intro

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Published by: Nagsa on Nov 10, 2009
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An Introduction to theLinux Command ShellFor Beginners
Presented by:
Victor Gedris
In Co-Operation With:
The Ottawa Canada Linux Users Group
and
ExitCertified
 
Copyright and Redistribution
This manual was written with the intention of being a helpful guide to Linux users who are tryingto become familiar with the Bash shell and basic Linux commands. To make this manual useful tothe widest range of people, I decided to release it under a free documentation license, with thehopes that people benefit from it by updating it and re-distributing modified copies. You havepermission to modify and distribute this document, as specified under the terms of the GNU FreeDocumentation License. Comments and suggestions for improvement may be directed to:
vic@gedris.org
.This document was created using an Open Source office application called
Open Office
. The fileformat is non-proprietary, and the document is also published in various other formats online.Updated copies will be available on Vic Gedris' web site [
http://vic.dyndns.org/
]. Formore information on Open Office, please visit
http://www.openoffice.org/
.Copyright © 2003 Victor Gedris.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNUFree Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free SoftwareFoundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-CoverTexts. A copy of the license is available from the Free Software Foundation's website:
http://www.fsf.org/copyleft/fdl.html
Document Version: 1.2, 2003-06-25
 
1.0 Introduction
ThepurposeofthisdocumentistoprovidethereaderwithafastandsimpleintroductiontousingtheLinuxcommandshellandsomeofitsbasicutilities.ItisassumedthatthereaderhaszeroorverylimitedexposuretotheLinuxcommandprompt.Thisdocumentisdesignedtoaccompanyaninstructor-ledtutorialonthissubject,andthereforesomedetailshavebeenleftout.Explanations,practical examples, and references to DOS commands are made, where appropriate.
1.1What is a command shell
 
A program that interprets commands
 
Allowsausertoexecutecommandsbytypingthemmanuallyataterminal,orautomaticallyin programs called
shell scripts
.
 
Ashellis
not 
anoperatingsystem.Itisawaytointerfacewiththeoperatingsystemandruncommands.
1.2What is BASH
 
BASH =
B
ourne
A
gain
SH
ell
 
BashisashellwrittenasafreereplacementtothestandardBourneShell(
/bin/sh
)originally written by Steve Bourne for UNIX systems.
 
IthasallofthefeaturesoftheoriginalBourneShell,plusadditionsthatmakeiteasiertoprogram with and use from the command line.
 
Since it is Free Software, it has been adopted as the default shell on most Linux systems.
1.3How is BASH different from the DOS command prompt
 
Case Sensitivity:
InLinux/UNIX,commandsandfilenamesarecasesensitive,meaningthat typing “
EXIT
” instead of the proper “
exit
” is a mistake.
 
\
” vs. “
/
”:
InDOS,theforward-slash
/
isthecommandargumentdelimiter,whilethebackslash
\
isadirectoryseparator.InLinux/UNIX,the
/
isthedirectoryseparator,andthe
\
isanescapecharacter.Moreabout these special characters in a minute!
 
Filenames:
TheDOSworldusesthe“eightdotthree”filenameconvention,meaningthatallfilesfollowedaformatthatallowedupto8charactersinthefilename,followedbyaperiod(“dot”),followedbyanoptionextension,up to 3 characters long (e.g.
FILENAME.TXT
). In UNIX/Linux, there isnosuchthingasafileextension.Periodscanbeplacedatanypartofthefilename, and “extensions” may be interpreted differently by allprograms, or not at all.

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