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GNU Bash Reference Manual
by Chet Ramey and Brian Fox
Paperback (6"x9"), 180 pages
ISBN 0954161777
RRP £19.95 ($29.95)

"An essential resource .... the most detailed coverage available for all aspects of Bash" --- Linux User and Developer Magazine (Issue 37, Mar 2004) Get a printed copy>>>

3.2.3 Lists of Commands

A list is a sequence of one or more pipelines separated by one of the operators ‘;’, ‘&’, ‘&&’, or ‘||’, and optionally terminated by one of ‘;’, ‘&’, or a newline.

Of these list operators, ‘&&’ and ‘||’ have equal precedence, followed by ‘;’ and ‘&’, which have equal precedence.

A sequence of one or more newlines may appear in a list to delimit commands, equivalent to a semicolon.

If a command is terminated by the control operator ‘&’, the shell executes the command asynchronously in a subshell. This is known as executing the command in the background. The shell does not wait for the command to finish, and the return status is 0 (true). When job control is not active (see section 7 Job Control), the standard input for asynchronous commands, in the absence of any explicit redirections, is redirected from /dev/null.

Commands separated by a ‘;’ are executed sequentially; the shell waits for each command to terminate in turn. The return status is the exit status of the last command executed.

The control operators ‘&&’ and ‘||’ denote AND lists and OR lists, respectively. An AND list has the form

command1 && command2

command2 is executed if, and only if, command1 returns an exit status of zero.

An OR list has the form

command1 || command2

command2 is executed if, and only if, command1 returns a non-zero exit status.

The return status of AND and OR lists is the exit status of the last command executed in the list.

ISBN 0954161777GNU Bash Reference ManualSee the print edition