Linux Shell Scripting Tutorial - A Beginner's handbook:About

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This document is Copyright (C) 1999-2009 by Vivek Gite and its contributors. Some rights reserved.


This book is for students and Linux System Administrators. It provides the skills to read, write, and debug Linux shell scripts using bash shell. The book begins by describing Linux and simple scripts to automate frequently executed commands and continues by describing conditional logic, user interaction, loops, menus, traps, and functions. Finally, book covers various sys admin related scripts such as making a backup, using cron jobs, writing interactive tools, web based tools, remote login, ftp and database backup related scripts. This book is intended for Linux system administrators or students who have mastered the basics of a Linux Operating System. You should be able to:

  • Login to local or remote Linux system.
  • Use basic Linux commands, such as cp, mv, rm, man,less, chmod and others.
  • Create and edit text files in vi or any other text editor.
  • GUI is not required except for interactive GTK+ based GUI scripts.

Licensing Information

This book is available under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

  • You are free:
    • to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
    • to Remix — to adapt the work
  • Under the following conditions:
    • Attribution — If you republish this content, we require that you:
  1. Indicate that the content is from "Linux Shell Scripting Tutorial - A Beginner's handbook" (, and nixCraft (
  2. Hyperlink to the original article on the source site (e.g.,
  3. Show the author name (e.g., Vivek Gite) for all pages.
  4. Hyperlink each contributors name back to their profile page on the source wiki (e.g.,
    • Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes including the Internet ad supported websites or any sort of print media.
  • Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

With the understanding that:

  • Waiver — Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder (i.e. the Author: Vivek Gite).
  • Other Rights — In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license:


  • Ver.0.8 - 1998 - First draft with only 8 pages.
  • Ver.0.9 - 2000 - Second draft with a few more pages.
  • Ver.1.0 - 2002 - Third draft published on
  • Ver.1.5r3 - 2004 - Updated version published on
  • Ver.2.0.beta - Aug-2009 - Wiki started.
  • This document is now in a wiki format.
  • All user contributed content licensed under Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.


  • This web site / wiki ("Site") provides educational learning information on Linux scripting for sys admin work, but you are 100% responsible for what you do or don't do with it.
  • The information compiled by Vivek Gite (and its contributors) as well as the links to complimentary material are provided "as is" with no warranty, express or implied, for their accuracy or reliability.
  • You use these sites at your own risk, and acknowledge that, while every effort has been made to correct errors before they appear, this site may include certain inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. nixCraft makes no representations as to the suitability, reliability, availability, timeliness, and accuracy of the information on this site for any purpose.
  • Using this site ( means you accept its terms.
  • All trademark within are property of their respective holders.
  • Although the author and its contributors believes the contents to be accurate at the time of publication, no liability is assumed for them, their application or any consequences thereof. If any misrepresentations, errors or other need of clarification is found, please contact the us immediately. Please read our disclaimer and privacy policy.
  • The opinions and ideas expressed in this book are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of nixCraft consultancy services and/or my current/past employers.

About the author

  • This book is created and maintained by Vivek Gite - a Sr. UNIX admin. Vivek is specialized in the design of high performance computing (HPC) using Linux, security and optimization for the internet and intranet usage. Vivek has a particular interest in TCP/IP, Anti DDoS, Server side optimization, computer clusters, parallel computing, HPTC and embedded Linux / FreeBSD devices etc. Visit my Linux admin blog for more tutorials, guides and news about FOSS.


  • Please give me your feedback. Whatever you see here, is based upon my own hard-earned experience. I have taught myself both through trial and error. Shoot me an email at
  • If you see a typo, a spelling mistake, or an error, please edit wiki page. Alternatively, you can tell me about it by sending me an e-mail.


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