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Writing Simple Shell Scripts

IN THIS CHAPTER

Working with shell scripts

Doing arithmetic in shell scripts

Running loops and cases in shell scripts

Creating simple shell scripts

You'd never get any work done if you typed every command that needs to be run on your Linux system when it starts. Likewise, you could work more efficiently if you grouped together sets of commands that you run all the time. Shell scripts can handle these tasks.

A shell script is a group of commands, functions, variables, or just about anything else you can use from a shell. These items are typed into a plain text file. That file can then be run as a command. Linux systems have traditionally used system initialization shell scripts during system startup to run commands needed to get services going. You can create your own shell scripts to automate the tasks you need to do regularly.

This chapter provides a rudimentary overview of the inner workings of shell scripts and how they can be used. You learn how simple scripts can be harnessed to a scheduling facility (such as cron or at) to simplify administrative tasks or just run on demand as they are needed.

Understanding Shell Scripts

Have you ever had a task that you needed to do over and over that took lots of typing on the command line? Do you ever think to yourself, “Wow, I wish I could just type one command to do all this”? Maybe a shell script is what ...

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