1.3. Requirements

You will need Bash. This should be easy: it's the default shell for just about every Linux distribution I know of. The commonest version is now 3.x. Version 1.14.7 was the standard for a long time, but that started to fade around 2000, followed by 2.0.x, now mostly deceased in 2007. The HOWTO uses a lot of code (mainly ${} substitutions) that probably won't work with versions of Bash prior to 2.0. You can check your Bash version by typing echo $BASH_VERSION or bash --version at the prompt.

Shell programming experience would be good, but isn't essential: the more you know, the more complex the prompts you'll be able to create. I assume a basic knowledge of shell programming and Unix utilities as I go through this tutorial. However, my own shell programming skills are limited, so I give a lot of examples and explanation that may appear unnecessary to an experienced coder.