Beginner’s Guide To Shell Scripting: The Basics

Shell scripting is an important part of Linux although not all users are aware of the term. Learning shell scripting is easy and once you know it, you will find it very useful for executing important program commands.

Shell scripting will also help you save time when preparing a command program. It can also help you do away with the arduous and boring task of managing files.

What Is Shell Scripting?

A Linux user has the freedom to work regardless of the command-line. Many programmers may not be comfortable with the idea of working via the interface and prefer the traditional method of using the cursor for pointing and clicking. However, Linux users give preference to interface for the simple reason that it makes programming easier.

The shell is nothing but a program in command-line. These days almost all Linux distros make use of Bash; this is the place where all commands are sent.

Linux users who are familiar with Windows will realize the importance of batch files in Windows. Batch files were compressed text files into which commands could be entered. The Windows would pick these commands and run them. Using batch files was an easy way of running games directly without opening folders or making shortcuts. Batch files were very similar to shell scripts in their working; but they were a cheaper version of the scripts.

What Are The Uses Of Shell Scripting?

Shell scripts let the programmers prepare commands in a chain formation. This lets the system implement the commands as a scripted sequence; exactly like that in batch files. However, shell scripts are also used for other important functions as well like command substitution. For example, if you initiate a command, such as a date, you can name a file using the output of the command. You can request for backups (automatically) and every file that gets copied will have the required date tagged with the file.

However, this doesn’t mean that scripts are simply commands. Shell scripts are more than that; they are complete commands in themselves. Programming functions like for and if/then/else statements can be easily used along with programming functions. In fact these functions can be made a part of your particular operating system’s interface. You can also do without learning another language since knowledge of shell scripting lets you make use of the command-line.

This is the most important aspect of shell scripting. You are executing programs using the commands that you are already familiar with. Besides you also get to learn the basic programming of other major languages. Scripting also lets you creates shortcuts for complicated commands, allows you to finish consecutive and boring commands in a short while and makes it easy to employ command-line interface for creating new programs.

However, before you begin shell scripting, you must have working knowledge of Linux. You should also know how to use the bash shell since most Linux users prefer it over other commands. Since bash is a universal program you will find it in your operating system. Besides, scripts can be used easily (and without any changes in most cases) even if you use multiple platforms for programming.