What Is Bash Scripting in Python?


Larry Thompson

Bash scripting is a powerful tool that allows you to automate tasks and run commands in the Unix/Linux environment. It is a scripting language that is primarily used in command-line interfaces (CLIs) and shell scripts. Bash scripting can greatly enhance your productivity by enabling you to automate repetitive tasks, perform complex operations, and create custom workflows.

Why Use Bash Scripting in Python?

If you are already familiar with Python, you might wonder why you would need to use Bash scripting alongside it. While Python is a versatile language with a wide range of libraries and functionalities, there are certain tasks that are better suited for Bash scripting.

Bash scripting excels at interacting with the command line and performing system-level operations that might be cumbersome or less efficient in Python alone. It provides direct access to the Unix/Linux shell commands, allowing you to leverage their power while using Python for higher-level logic and data processing.

How Does Bash Scripting Work in Python?

To incorporate Bash scripting into your Python code, you can use the `subprocess` module. This module allows you to spawn new processes, connect to their input/output/error pipes, and obtain their return codes.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to execute a Bash command using Python:

import subprocess

output = subprocess.check_output("ls -l", shell=True)

In this example, we use the `check_output()` function from the `subprocess` module to execute the “ls -l” command in the Bash shell. The output of the command is captured and stored in the `output` variable, which we then print.

Running Multiple Commands

You can also run multiple commands sequentially or concurrently using subprocess:

import subprocess

commands = [
    "echo 'Hello, World!'",
    "ls -l",

for command in commands:
    subprocess.call(command, shell=True)

In this example, we define a list of commands that we want to execute sequentially. The `subprocess.call()` function is used to run each command in the list.

Benefits of Using Bash Scripting in Python

The combination of Bash scripting and Python offers several benefits:

  • Simplicity: Bash scripting allows you to perform complex operations with just a few lines of code.
  • Flexibility: You can leverage the power of both Bash and Python to create custom workflows and solve unique problems.
  • Integration: By using Bash scripting within your Python code, you can seamlessly integrate system-level operations with higher-level logic.
  • Ecosystem: Both Bash and Python have extensive libraries and communities that provide a wealth of resources for solving various tasks.


Bash scripting in Python is a valuable skill that can greatly enhance your ability to automate tasks and interact with the command line. By combining the strengths of both languages, you can create robust scripts and workflows that are efficient, flexible, and powerful.

If you are new to Bash scripting or want to dive deeper into its capabilities, consider exploring tutorials and examples available online. With practice, you will become proficient in leveraging the full potential of Bash scripting in your Python projects.

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