Wicked Cool Shell Scripts

ITworld.com Voices |  Hardware, Dave Taylor, shell scripts

Taylor: Well, my immediate reaction to that is my hangman game. It is one of my favorite, mostly because it took me an amazing amount of time to figure out how to write hangman in 50 lines. And it's 50 shell script lines that are actually well commented. So I did finally figure it out and it took a lot of thinking about things the opposite to how you would expect and I think it's a very informative script to read. In terms of other scripts, oh, I don't know. There's a script I have that helps you manage the password file on an Apache Web server, which I think proves to be very interesting and it actually has a graphical Web-based interface. I would say that those are probably the two biggest ones. There's also one that lets you explore, like I said, your iTunes library, which proves to be very interesting. And there's a variety of scripts that let you automatically synchronize local and remote directories using either FTP or secure FTP.

Gaskin: Oh, that would be a marvelous tool for administrators trying to protect the data of the users who don't know what backup means.

Taylor: Right, and you could even have it where you just tell the user, whenever you want to, type in this word on the command line and everything will magically be downloaded to your machine, only what's changed will actually be downloaded and so it will be fast and efficient and you'll always have your own copy.

Gaskin: Oh, that sounds like that one script might be worth the cost of the book for many administrators if they have the kind of users I'm familiar with.

Taylor: Well, I'd have to agree with that statement.

Gaskin: There's quite a bit of choices for the type of Unix and type of Linux operating system you want to use. Are these scripts somewhat portable or very portable across the various flavors?

Taylor: They're extremely portable. They've all been tested on Linux and Unix and Mac OS X machines. And honestly, the only system that I have ever tested these on that has any problems is, and I'm sorry to say this for the people that like Sun Microsystems, is Solaris. It's detailed in the book, and it's also discussed on the book's website which is at Intuitive.com/wicked.

Gaskin: Is there anything you can't do with the shell script?

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