Well, I’m glad to see that people are liking my book Oracle Shell Scripting: Linux and UNIX Programming for Oracle. Another 5-star review showed up on Amazon last week:

Jolly writes:

Great book!

A well written book. A great way to learn shell scripting. Relevant and useful examples throughout the book (downloadable code).

Thanks for the review Jolly!

Oracle Shell ScriptingFor more information like this check out my book Oracle Shell Scripting, only $34.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


When you connect to a system, whether directly on the system’s keyboard or through a remote connection you will automatically start in your default shell. The default shell was originally assigned to you when your account was created.

To find out what shell you are currently using we can use the echo command:

$ echo $SHELL
/bin/bash

In this command we are using the echo command to examine the value of the environment variable $SHELL. This variable was set by the system when we started this command line session and shows the full path to the shell we were assigned at login. Here are some common shells you might see:

  • /bin/sh – Bourne shell
  • /bin/bash – Bourne Again shell
  • /bin/csh – C shell
  • /bin/ksh – Korn shell
  • /bin/tcsh – TC shell
  • /bin/zsh – Z shell

Shell binaries are also commonly found in the /usr/local/bin directory. Consult your system administrator if you’re having trouble finding your shell binaries.

Oracle Shell ScriptingFor more information like this check out my book Oracle Shell Scripting, only $34.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


Another review for my book Oracle Shell Scripting: Linux and UNIX Programming for Oracle has shown up on Amazon!

Prashant wrote:

This book has helped me impress my colleagues and boss..I originally browsed through it at Border’s (and found myself sitting on the ground with a notepad scrambling to copy as much as possible)..of course, then I realized I had to have it, so I bought it online..I knew the publisher was a trustworthy source because I’m always using Don Burleson’s DBA tips online.. this author’s approach is easy-to-follow and concise; yet it’s a thorough guide that is like a catalyst for your own creativity…it has made me look forward to extracting the power of the shell.

It’s a lot better than parsing through thick UNIX encyclopedias or cycling through fragmented online material..as an OCP 10g/9i DBA, I still feel like there are not enough practical day-to-day guides like this one for junior/mid/senior-level administrators, since over half our work is directly/indirectly connected to the shell.

Thanks for the great review Prashant! After all the work that goes into a book like this it’s great to know that it’s helping people. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

Oracle Shell ScriptingFor more information like this check out my book Oracle Shell Scripting, only $34.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


If you administrate Oracle databases on Windows or even just have a few installations of Oracle on your desktop (I personally have 4) then you probably have noticed that changing Oracle Homes in Windows isn’t necessarily as easy as it should be.

There used to be a tool called Oracle Home Selector but it seems to have gone the way of the buffalo. Enter Oracle Locator Express.

Oracle Locator Express

This little application runs as a normal exe and puts an icon into the notification area of your Windows taskbar. A click will show the current Oracle home location (very handy) and a right click will let you select from installed Oracle homes.

The OLE application is less than 200kb and the best part is it’s free! DbMotive has some other tools which might be worth looking at while you’re at their site, but I can tell you right now that Oracle Locator Express is well worth having!

oracle, dba, database, database administrator

Here’s a nice surprise that came up last month (and unfortunately I’ve been too busy to write about it until this month,) I’ve been presented with an Oracle ACE award! What is it? In the Oracle ACE Program FAQ it’s described like this:

The Oracle ACE Program is designed to recognize and reward members of the Oracle Technology and Applications communities for their contributions to those communities. These individuals are technically proficient (when applicable) and willingly share their knowledge and experiences.

The program comprises two levels: Oracle ACE and Oracle ACE Director. The former designation is Oracle’s way of saying “thank you” to community contributors for their efforts; we (and the community) appreciate their enthusiasm. The latter designation is for community enthusiasts who not only share their knowledge (usually in extraordinary ways), but also want to increase their community advocacy and work more proactively with Oracle to find opportunities for the same. In this sense, Oracle ACE is “backward looking” and Oracle ACE Director is “forward looking.”

The ACE award seems like a great way to recognize and encourage people to contribute to the Oracle community as a whole. ACE directors additionally commit to being involved in their local Oracle community, posting to the Oracle forums and a handful of other community-centric activities.

There are currently 159 people in the Oracle ACE program and if you frequently surf for Oracle information you’ll recognize many of the names (e.g. Doug Burns, Steve Karam and Tom Kyte, just to name a few.) I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the program and plan to keep contributing where I can!

oracle, oracle ACE, database, database administration, dba

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