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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>>>

3.1 Shell Syntax

When the shell reads input, it proceeds through a sequence of operations. If the input indicates the beginning of a comment, the shell ignores the comment symbol (‘#’), and the rest of that line. Otherwise, roughly speaking, the shell reads its input and divides the input into words and operators, employing the quoting rules to select which meanings to assign various words and characters.

The shell then parses these tokens into commands and other constructs, removes the special meaning of certain words or characters, expands others, redirects input and output as needed, executes the specified command, waits for the command's exit status, and makes that exit status available for further inspection or processing.

ISBN 0954161777GNU Bash Reference ManualSee the print edition