Bash tricks

SHELL POLISHING

Article from Issue 70/2006
Author(s):

A few basic tricks can liven up the command line and add a dash of color to your console.

The shell is the command line interpreter that interfaces between the user and the system. Among other things it interprets commands, wildcards and variables, links commands, and passes program output in to other tools or to files. Besides the Bourne Shell (Sh), Korn Shell (Ksh), C Shell (Csh), and Z Shell (Zsh), the Bourne Again Shell, or Bash for short, plays a prominent role on Unix-style systems – it has long established itself as the standard shell on Linux. Working with Bash is a lot more fun if you modify the prompt to suit your personal preferences, if you are familiar with the many keyboard shortcuts, and if you add more functionality by defining your own aliases and environmental variables. Attention!

Commands are typically entered at the shell prompt. A typical prompt looks like this:

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