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UNIX and Shell Programming VTU Notes

This is a set of programs which will act as a link between the computer and the user. These programs coordinate every details in the internal of the computer and are called operating system or kernel. In this, the users communicate via kernels, which is facilitated by a program which is called the shell; which is a command line interpreter. They translate the commands which has been entered by the user for the kernel to understand.

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Recommended Books for UNIX and Shell Programming

  • The Unix Programming Environment by Brian W. Kernighan & Rob Pike, Pearson.
  •  Introduction to Unix Shell Programming by M.G.Venkateshmurthy,  Pearson.
  • Unix and shell programming by B.M. Harwani, OXFORD university press.
  • Sumitabha Das, “Unix Concepts And Applications”, 4thEdition. TMH, 2006. (1, 2 units)
  •  Behrouz A. Forouzan, Richard F. Gilbery, “Unix and shell
    Programming”, 1stEdition, Cengage Learning India, 2003.
  • Graham Glass, King Ables, “Unix for programmers and
    users”, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education, 2009.
  • N.B Venkateswarlu, “Advanced Unix programming”,
    2ndEdition, BS Publications, 2010.
  • Yashwanth Kanitkar,” Unix Shell programming”, 1stEdition,
    BPB Publisher, 2010



Introduction to Unix-Brief History-What is Unix-Unix Components-Using Unix-Commands in Unix-Some Basic Commands-Command Substitution-Giving Multiple Commands.


The File system –The Basics of Files-What’s in a File-Directories and File Names-Permissions-I Nodes-The Directory Hierarchy, File Attributes and Permissions-The File Command knowing the File Type-The Chmod Command Changing File Permissions-The Chown Command Changing the Owner of a File-The Chgrp Command Changing the Group of a File.


Using the Shell-Command Line Structure-Met characters-Creating New Commands-Command Arguments and Parameters-Program Output as Arguments-Shell Variables- -More on I/O Redirection-Looping in Shell Programs.


Filters-The Grep Family-Other Filters-The Stream Editor Sed-The AWK Pattern Scanning and processing Language-Good Files and Good Filters.


Shell Programming-Shell Variables-The Export Command-The Profile File a Script Run During Starting-The First Shell Script-The Read Command-Positional parameters-The $? Variable knowing the exit Status-More about the Set Command-The Exit Command-Branching Control Structures-Loop Control Structures-The Continue and Break Statement-The Expr Command: Performing Integer Arithmetic-Real Arithmetic in Shell Programs-The here Document(<<)-The Sleep Command-Debugging Scripts-The Script Command-The Eval Command-The Exec Command.


The Process-The Meaning-Parent and Child Processes-Types of Processes-More about Foreground and Background processes-Internal and External Commands-Process Creation-The Trap Command-The Stty Command-The Kill Command-Job Control.


  • Documenting the files will make it possible to demonstrate good organization and readability.
  • The projects which are there for processing files are going to require data organization, problem solving as well as research.
  • Simple effective user interfaces will demonstrate script and programs.
  • Effective use of structured programming will be demonstrated by the scripts and programs.

Important Questions

  • What are the filter and pipes? Explain with example.
  • Discuss the sort command with examples.
  • Explain the various operations of sed commands.
  • Write a shell script checking whether “rama” was logged in or not.
  •  Differentiate between sed and awk.
  • What is meant by associate arrays? Discuss.
  • How to find the exit status of a command? Discuss.
  • Write a shell script for performing the arithmetic operations.
  • Explain the features of C shell.
  • Write a shell script to print the reverse sting on the screen.
  • Explain any four operations that can be performed on a file.
  • Write a program to print file contents in reverse order.
  • What is kernel? Is it similar to the operating system? Explain.
  • Differentiate between head and tail.
  • Explain the features of Unix.
  • Write a shell script to count no of lines for a given file without using wc commands.
  • Explain the commands cp, rm and cat with examples.
  • Explain process utilities.
  • Write a shell script for the following
    i) for display only the lines which are containing the word “Unix”.
    ii) For display only duplicate lines in a file.
    iii) For display only 3 and 6 fields in a file.
    iv) For display particular user files only.

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