What Is CLI Scripting?


Larry Thompson

In this tutorial, we will dive into the world of CLI scripting and explore what it is, how it works, and why it’s an essential skill for any developer or system administrator.

What is CLI Scripting?

Command Line Interface (CLI) scripting refers to the process of automating tasks and executing commands directly through a text-based interface. Instead of using a graphical user interface (GUI), CLI scripting involves typing commands into a terminal or command prompt.

Coding in a CLI environment offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows for faster execution and greater control over the system. Additionally, CLI scripting can be easily automated and scripted to perform repetitive tasks, saving time and effort.

How Does CLI Scripting Work?

CLI scripting relies on a shell or terminal emulator to interact with the computer’s operating system. The shell interprets the commands entered by the user and executes them accordingly.

There are numerous shells available, with Bash (Bourne Again SHell) being one of the most popular ones. Bash is the default shell on many Unix-like systems, including Linux and macOS.

The Basics

  • To start a script in Bash, create a new file with a .sh extension using a text editor.
  • Add the shebang line at the beginning of your script file:

  • Write your desired commands below the shebang line.
  • Save the file and make it executable using the chmod command:

chmod +x script.sh
  • Execute the script by typing its name preceded by “./” in the terminal:


Common Use Cases

CLI scripting can be used for a wide range of tasks, including:

  • System Administration: Automating system maintenance tasks, managing users and permissions, and configuring network settings.
  • Software Development: Building and deploying applications, running tests, and managing version control systems.
  • Data Processing: Manipulating and analyzing data, performing file operations, and running batch jobs.
  • Server Management: Configuring web servers, managing databases, and monitoring server performance.


In summary, CLI scripting is a powerful tool that allows developers and system administrators to automate tasks and execute commands efficiently through a text-based interface. By mastering CLI scripting skills, you can streamline your workflow and become more productive in various computing environments.

We hope this tutorial has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of CLI scripting. Happy coding!

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