by Dave Taylor
January 2004, 368 pp.
The UNIX shell is the main scripting environment of every Linux, Mac OS X and UNIX system, whether a rescued laptop or a million-dollar mainframe. This cookbook of useful, customizable, and fun scripts gives you the tools to solve common Linux, Mac OS X and UNIX problems and personalize your computing environment. Among the more than 100 scripts included are an interactive calculator, a spell checker, a disk backup utility, a weather tracker, and a web logfile analysis tool. The book also teaches you how to write your own sophisticated shell scripts by explaining the syntax and techniques used to build each example scripts. Examples are written in Bourne Shell (sh) syntax.
About the Author
Dave Taylor has a Masters degree in Education, an MBA, and has written a dozen technical books, including Learning UNIX for Mac OS X (O'Reilly), Solaris for Dummies (Hungry Minds), and Teach Yourself UNIX in 24 Hours (SAMS). He was a contributor to BSD 4.4 UNIX, and his software is included in many major UNIX distributions.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Missing Code Library
Script #1 Finding Programs in the PATH
Chapter 2: Improving on User Commands
Script #14 Formatting Long Lines
Chapter 3: Creating Utilities
Script #23 A Reminder Utility
Chapter 4: Tweaking Unix
Script #31 Displaying a File with Line Numbers
Chapter 5: System Administration: Managing Users
Script #39 Analyzing Disk Usage
Chapter 6: System Administration: System Maintenance
Script #49 Tracking Set User ID Applications
Chapter 7: Web and Internet Users
Script #58 Calculating Time Spent Online
Chapter 8: Webmaster Hacks
Script #69 Seeing the CGI Environment
Chapter 9: Web and Internet Administration
Script #77 Identifying Broken Internal Links
Chapter 10: Internet Server Administration
Script #84 Exploring the Apache access_log
Chapter 11: Mac OS X Scripts
Script #93 List NetInfo Users
Chapter 12: Shell Script Fun and Games
Script #99 Unscramble
4 stars out of 5: “A hands-on book. Not really a tutorial, but more of a cross-platform scripting cookbook.”
Q&A with author Dave Taylor
Interview with Dave Taylor
"A well-written book packed with a ton of practical information"
Named the essential shell scripting book: No honorable mention awarded because "[this book] is so far above anything else available in this area... a must for any new- or intermediate-level Linux adminstrator... This is the book that every other publisher tries to imitate."
Write Great Shell Scripts is highlighted in article by Dave Taylor, "Everything You Wanted to Know About the Test Command"
"This book can be a great resource for intermediate to experienced shell programmers... All the descriptions are concise and the author explains how the script works, what happens when it executes and even shows the output."
"I can't give this book enough praise and high enough recommendation... Quite simply, this is the book that I wish I would've had when I was just learning Linux."
"The book is engagingly written, as one would hope from someone with a Master's degree in Education. The biggest, and most pleasant, surprise is the book is somewhat of a tutorial, rather than simply a compilation."
"With over 100 practical scripts designed especially for UNIX (including Linux and Mac OS X) system administrators and power users, the book focuses on ways to become productive in using the UNIX shell."
Two-page author interview with book cover in the July issue of LinuxWorld Magazine: "In this installment of the Book Rookery, Martin C. Brown speaks with Dave Taylor, author of Wicked Cool Shell Scripts, about all the fun things you can do with shell scripts, whether you're running Linux, Mac OS X, or even a mainstream Unix system."
"If you're interested in the command line and shell scripting, this is an excellent book which will extend your knowledge, and provide more than a hundred ready-to-run scripts."
"There are a few books in the [computer] field that remain useful for years and years after their publishing date. Wicked Cool Shell Scripts is one of those fortunate few."
"If you already know how to write rudimentary Unix scripts, here are some tools that'll really float your boat."
"There is definitely something for everyone in this book."
"Wicked Cool Shell Scripts is not for beginners, but is suggested reading for anyone who enjoys shell scripting or is responsible for administrating systems."
"This incredibly fun book (really!), written by Dave Taylor, a veteran UNIX, Solaris and Mac OS X author, is chock full of 101 scripts to customize the UNIX (Bourne) shell."