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Chapter 28. Saving Time on the Command Line


What's Special About the Unix Command Line
Reprinting Your Command Line with CTRL-r
Use Wildcards to Create Files?
Build Strings with { }
String Editing (Colon) Operators
Automatic Completion
Don't Match Useless Files in Filename Completion
Repeating Commands
Repeating and Varying Commands
Repeating a Command with Copy-and-Paste
Repeating a Time-Varying Command
Multiline Commands, Secondary Prompts
Here Document Example #1: Unformatted Form Letters
Command Substitution
Handling Lots of Text with Temporary Files
Separating Commands with Semicolons
Dealing with Too Many Arguments

28.1. What's Special About the Unix Command Line

Summary Box

One of Unix's best features is the shell's command line. Why? Nearly every modern operating system has a command line; we don't use card readers with obscure job setup cards any more. What makes Unix's special?


The Unix shell command line allows lots of shortcuts. Some of these you'll find in other operating systems; some you won't. In this chapter, we'll introduce a lot of these shortcuts. Among other things, we'll discuss:


Some fundamental command-line features that we aren't discussing in this chapter, but which are discussed elsewhere, are:


You don't need to be a command-line virtuoso to use Unix effectively. But you'd be surprised at how much you can do with a few tricks. If all you can do at the command line is type ls or start Mozilla or the Gimp, you're missing out on a lot.


-- ML

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