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Learning The Korn Shell

The Korn shell is an interactive command and scripting language for accessing Unix® and other computer systems. As a complete and high-level programming language in itself, it's been a favorite since it was developed in the mid 1980s by David G. Korn at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Knowing how to use it is an essential skill for serious Unix users. Learning the Korn Shell shows you how to use the Korn shell as a user interface and as a programming environment.Writing applications is often easier and quicker with Korn than with other high-level languages. Because of this, the Korn shell is the most often used shell in commercial environments and among inexperienced users. There are two other widely used shells, the Bourne shell and the C shell. The Korn shell, or ksh, has the best features of both, plus many new features of its own. ksh can do much to enhance productivity and the quality of a user's work, both in interacting with the system, and in programming. The new version, ksh93, has the functionality of other scripting languages such as awk, icon, Perl, rexx, and tcl.Learning the Korn Shell is the key to gaining control of the Korn shell and becoming adept at using it as an interactive command and scripting language. Prior programming experience is not required in order to understand the chapters on basic shell programming. Readers will learn how to write many applications more easily and quickly than with other high-level languages. In addition, readers will also learn about Unix utilities and the way the Unix operating system works in general. The authors maintain that you shouldn't have to be an internals expert to use and program the shell effectively.The second edition covers all the features of the current version of the Korn shell, including many new features not in earlier versions of ksh93, making it the most up-to-date reference available on the Korn shell. It compares the current version of the Korn shell to several other Bourne-compatible shells, including several Unix emulation environments for MS-DOS and Windows. In addition, it describes how to download and build ksh93 from source code.A solid offering for many years, this newly revised title inherits a long tradition of trust among computer professionals who want to learn or refine an essential skill.

File Size: 1058 KB

Print Length: 434 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (April 23, 2002)

Publication Date: May 15, 2013

Sold by:  Digital Services LLC

Language: English


Text-to-Speech: Enabled

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Best Sellers Rank: #554,630 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #32 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Unix > Shell #151 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Unix #619 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Linux

I have owned this book since 1996 and I used it as my introduction to Korn shell programming. To the credit of the book, I was able to become very adept at Korn shell and I have written some amazing scripts. However, I must admit that some sections of this book are misleading, confusing and downright incomprehensible. It took many re-readings of some chapters before the author's lesson was brought to light. I would recommend this book as a Korn shell reference, but it is probably not the best place to start for a Korn shell beginner. I am finding this to be true for a lot of the books by O'Reilly & Associates.

When I bought this book, I had already spent a year working in a UNIX environment, but I had no real experience with shell programming. However, after reading this book, I'm having no problems writing intermediate to advanced level Korn scripts at work.It sounds like some people who have reviewed this were expecting a Nutshell book, but apparently they didn't read the description of the book. To truly appreciate this book, one should read it in a fairly linear fashion, from cover to cover (like a textbook). It's not really meant to be skimmed, since it's not one of the Nutshell books.Whatever the case, I think that for anyone interested in Korn shell programming, this is a pretty good introduction to it. My only recommendation is that you practice the concepts in the book while reading, and make sure you have a copy of 'UNIX in a Nutshell'.

This is a great book for someone new to ksh programmer. It should be treated as a work manual and not as a reference book. Read this book through from cover to cover and you'll soon be writing ksh scripts with ease.The book takes you though Korn shell basics from answer what a shell is to using files, I/O, and character quoting.From there it goes into command line editing, customizing your environment, and into basic programming. Once through that you learn flow control, arrays, advanced I/O, and process handling.Finally you learn how to debug the script you just wrote.As a reference manual this book is average. It's not meant to be a typical "nutshell" book and shouldn't be treated as one.The bottom line? Buy this book if you are truly interested in learning how to program in the Korn shell.

Clearly NOT the quality I've come to expect from O'Reilly. The sample scripts are not fully explained and the layout is confusing. This book just sits on my desk collecting dust while Rosenberg's KornShell Tutorial is tabbed, highlighted and dog-earred.

If your job requires you to perform some tasks in UNIX but you know very little beyond the level a beginner's guide gave you (e.g. cd and ls) then Learning the Korn Shell will let you build on those basics to the point where you'll be able to program shell scripts.You'll start with a quick explanation of what a shell is (i.e. it's a user interface, not the OS itself) then useful key strokes (avoid CTRL-D) and how Korn parses the command line. The book then explains how you can set up your environment and then moves into basic shell scripting. By the end of the book, you'll be able to read and edit the scripts along with your more experienced colleagues.Highly recommended.

While not as popular (at least in Linux circles) as bash, ksh is a powerful language/tool. Put bluntly, this is one of the few O'Reilly books I have read cover to cover. That isn't to say that the others don't warrant a thorough perusal, but that this book was readily accessible and provided excellent information. I have used it as a reference countless times over the years and do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone using or considering using ksh. Moreover, if you are considering using ksh - or perhaps need a better background in Unix shell scripting - read this book.

For some time, "Learning the Korn Shell" was the only source I had for k-shell programming. That was a bad idea. O'Reilly books are usually first-rate, but I guess they can't knock every pitch out of the park. I cannot recommend this book either as an introductory tutorial or as a reference. The first problem is that topics seem to be jumbled together, so that things are hard to find and to follow. Secondly, many subjects are either not covered at all, or are given the proverbial lick and a prayer. Even worse, the indexing is terrible. I find too many cases in which important things (like dot scripts, for instance) are simply not in the index, if they are covered at all in the text. Fortunately, there are alternatives to this book which I find much more satisfactory. By far the best is "The Korn Shell User and Programming Manual", by Anatole Olczak, an Addison-Wesley publication. It's pricey (about $50), but it's well-organized, complete, and very competently indexed.

I've been using this book for a while and since I am pretty familiar with it, the rather odd organization and hit-and-miss indexing aren't as much of a problem as they were. So since I know where to start looking for the information I need, this book is very handy now.I find that although the prose style is not exciting, it is clear and definite (I don't find myself wondering, "Did they mean *this* or *that*?").The bottom line is that if you are willing to make yourself use the book long enough to get a feel for it, it will be a very useful reference. However, it would be much better if the familiarization period were unnecessary.

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