Over the course of writing The Linux Command Line and this blog, I've
had frequent need of good reference resources for command line programs
including the shell itself, bash. Here is my list of the ones that
1. The Bash Man Page
Yeah, I know. I spent nearly half a page in my book trashing the bash
man page for its impenetrable style and its lack of any trace of
user-friendliness, but nothing beats typing "man bash" when you're
already working in a terminal. The trick is finding what you want in
its enormous length. This can sometimes be a significant problem, but
once you find what you are looking for, the information is always
concise and authoritative though not always easy to understand. Still,
this is the resource I use most often.
2. The Bash Reference Manual
Perhaps in response to the usability issues found in the bash man page,
the GNU Project produced the Bash Reference Manual. You can think of it
as the bash man page translated into human readable form. While it
lacks a tutorial focus and contains no usage examples, it is much
easier to read and is more usefully organized than the bash man page.
3. Greg's Wiki
The bash man page and the Bash Reference Manual both extensively
document the features found in bash. However, when we need a
description of bash behavior, different resources are needed. The best
by far is Greg's Wiki. This site covers a variety of topics, but of
particular interest to us are the Bash FAQ which contains over one
hundred frequently asked questions about bash, the Bash Pitfalls which
describes many of the common problems script writers encounter with
bash, and the Bash Guide, a useful set of tutorials for bash users.
There are also several fun to read rants.
4. Bash Hackers Wiki
Like Greg's Wiki, the Bash Hackers Wiki provides many different
articles relating to bash, its features, and its behavior. Included are
some useful tutorials on various programming techniques and issues with
scripting with bash. While the writing is, at times, a little chaotic,
it does contain useful information. Heck, they even trash my Writing
Shell Scripts tutorial (Hmmm...I really ought to fix some of that
5. Chet Ramey's Bash Page
Chet Ramey is the current maintainer of bash and he has his own page.
On this page, you can find version information, latest news, and other
things. The most useful document on the Bash Page is its version of the
Bash FAQ. The NEWS file contains a concise list of features that have
been added to each version of bash.
There you have it. Enough reading to keep even the most curious shell
user busy for weeks. Enjoy!
Posted By William Shotts to LinuxCommand.org: Tips, News And Rants at
6/03/2010 01:03:00 PM