What Is Bash Scripting?


Scott Campbell

Bash scripting, also known as shell scripting, is a powerful tool for automating tasks and managing system configurations. It allows users to write scripts that can execute commands in the Bash shell, which is the default command-line interpreter on most Unix-like operating systems.

Why Bash Scripting?

Bash scripting offers several advantages over manual execution of commands. First and foremost, it saves time and effort by automating repetitive tasks. Whether you need to perform a series of file operations or apply complex system configurations, writing a bash script can simplify these tasks and make them more efficient.

Getting Started with Bash Scripting

To start writing bash scripts, you’ll need a text editor like Notepad++ or Visual Studio Code. Open your preferred text editor and create a new file with a .sh extension (e.g., script.sh). The .sh extension denotes that this file contains bash script code.

Basic Syntax

A bash script typically begins with the shebang line, which tells the system which interpreter to use. In most cases, this line is #!/bin/bash. Following the shebang line, you can write your code using various syntax elements such as variables, conditionals, loops, functions, and more.


Variables in bash scripts are declared without any specific data type. To assign a value to a variable, use the following syntax:


For example:

name=”John Doe”

To access the value stored in a variable, prepend the variable name with $:

echo $name


Conditionals allow you to control the flow of your script based on certain conditions. The if statement is commonly used for this purpose:

if [ condition ]
# code to execute if condition is true
# code to execute if condition is false

if [ $age -ge 18 ]
echo “You are an adult.”
echo “You are not yet an adult.”


Loops are used to iterate over a set of values or perform repetitive tasks. The two most commonly used loops in bash scripting are the for loop and the while loop:

for variable in values
# code to execute for each value

while [ condition ]
# code to execute as long as condition is true

Putting It All Together

Now that you have a basic understanding of bash scripting syntax, you can combine variables, conditionals, and loops to create more complex scripts. Remember to save your script file with the .sh extension and make it executable using the chmod command:

chmod +x script.sh

To run your script, use the following command:



Bash scripting is a valuable skill for any system administrator or developer working with Unix-like systems. By automating tasks and managing system configurations through scripts, you can save time and improve efficiency. With practice, you can become proficient in writing bash scripts and unlock the full potential of shell scripting.

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