In the previous two chapters, we examined many of the fundamental commands that you need to navigate and administer Red Hat Linux. In this chapter, you ll learn the tricks of the trade that can help make the shell work for you.
The default Red Hat Linux shell is bash (short for the Bourne Again Shell). While several other shells are available, bash is the default shell created by the Free Software Foundation ( www.fsf.org ), and is therefore the shell most commonly associated with Linux.
If you are already familiar with a different shell such as Korn, C, or Z, it s okay to install the applicable RPM packages and use it. They re easy to start; the ksh , csh , and zsh commands start these shells automatically, usually at a different prompt. Like other Unix-style operating systems, Linux works well with other shells. However, if Linux is your first foray into Unix-style operating systems, I highly recommend that you learn to use bash. It is the default Linux shell, and most online Linux documentation assumes that you use bash commands.
In this chapter, you ll learn to manage the basics of bash. Then you ll examine the secrets of the shell, which can help you make different bash commands work together in a complex harmony. Finally, you ll take advantage of environment and shell variables , which can ease your transition to the bash shell. This chapter covers the following topics: