Linux/UNIX shell programming

This course treats the logical power of the UNIX/AIX and Linux command shell, an extreme powerful environment for efficient programming.

At the end of this course participants will be able to understand all the possibilities of the program structures in the UNIX shell scripts. The use of the classic program logic in shell procedures will be clarified. The shell syntax for programming will be known. The meaning and the possibilities of AWK, and the use of this programming language will be learnt.


No public sessions are currently scheduled. We will be pleased to set up an on-site course or to schedule an extra public session (in case of a sufficient number of candidates). Interested? Please let us know.

Intended for

UNIX/Linux power-users and UNIX/Linux system administrators who are responsible for the organisation and the management of an efficient UNIX/Linux environment based on intelligent procedures.


The participant has followed the Linux/UNIX fundamentals or has equivalent experience with UNIX/Linux/AIX, and has basic knowledge of a programming language. You can test for yourself to see if you have enough background by filling out the on-line self-test.

Main topics

  • Basic shell scripting: a recap
  • Working towards batch procedures:

Manipulating text in batch (sed, tr, ...) • unix tools in batch (arithmetic, text manimulation, "here documents", ...) • process synchronisation (wait, trap, exit, return, ...) • functions (definition, function library, function availability)

  • Advanced Shell programming - based on the korn shell and on bash:

Writing logical tests • evaluating tests • branching • iterations • arithmetic expressions • interactive scripting

  • AWK programming

AWK program structure • verbs • arguments • syntax of an instruction • conditions based on file parsing • regular expressions • search and update of file databases • simple reports

Training method

Classroom instruction based on a handout, presentation and demo's.

A substantial amount of time is spent on exercises and practical use cases.


3 days.

Course leader

Koen De Backer, Peter Vanroose, Kris Van Thillo.