Chapter 17

Writing Scripts for Graphical Desktops

In This Chapter

  • Creating text menus
  • Building text window widgets
  • Adding X Windows graphics

Over the years, shell scripts have acquired a reputation for being dull and boring. This doesn't have to be the case, however, if you plan on running your scripts in a graphical environment. There are plenty of ways to interact with your script user that don't rely on the read and echo statements. This chapter dives into a few different methods you can use to help add life to your interactive scripts so that they don't look so old-fashioned.

Creating Text Menus

The most common way to create an interactive shell script is to utilize a menu. Offering your customers a choice of various options helps guide them through exactly what the script can and can't do.

Menu scripts usually clear the display area, and then show a list of options available. The customer can select an option by pressing an associated letter or number assigned to each option. Figure 17.1 shows the layout of a sample menu.

Figure 17.1 Displaying a menu from a shell script


The core of a shell script menu is the case command (see Chapter 11). The case command performs specific commands, depending on what character your customer selects from the menu.

The following sections walk you through the steps you should follow to create a menu-based shell script.

Create the Menu Layout ...

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