What Is Shell Scripting and Linux?


Heather Bennett

Shell scripting is a powerful tool that allows users to automate tasks and execute commands in a Linux environment. But before diving into shell scripting, let’s first understand what Linux is.

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source operating system kernel developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991. It provides the foundation for various operating systems, commonly known as Linux distributions or distros.

Some popular distros include Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS.

Linux is renowned for its stability, security, and flexibility. It can run on a wide range of devices, from servers and desktop computers to embedded systems and mobile devices.

Due to its open-source nature, developers worldwide contribute to its development, making it constantly evolving.

What is Shell Scripting?

Shell scripting refers to writing a series of commands in a specific shell language (such as Bash) that are executed sequentially. These scripts automate repetitive tasks or carry out complex operations by combining various commands together.

The shell acts as an interface between the user and the operating system. It interprets the commands entered by the user or read from a script file and executes them accordingly.

Why use Shell Scripting?

Shell scripting offers numerous benefits:

  • Automation: By writing scripts, you can automate repetitive tasks, saving time and effort.
  • Batch Processing: Scripts enable you to execute multiple commands together as a batch.
  • Data Manipulation: You can use shell scripting to process and manipulate data efficiently.
  • Customization: Shell scripts allow you to customize your Linux environment according to your needs.

Getting Started with Shell Scripting

To start shell scripting, you’ll need a text editor to write your scripts. Popular text editors include Vim, Emacs, and Nano.

Choose the one that suits your preferences.

Once you have a text editor ready, create a new file and save it with a “.sh” extension. This convention helps identify shell scripts easily.

The first line of your script should specify the type of shell language you are using. For example, to use the Bash shell, add the following line at the beginning of your script:


After specifying the shell type, you can start writing your commands in sequential order. Each command should be on a new line.

You can include comments in your script using the “#” symbol.

Executing Shell Scripts

To execute a shell script, you need to make it executable. Open your terminal and navigate to the directory where your script is saved using the cd command.

cd /path/to/script-directory

Next, use the chmod command to change the file permissions and make it executable:

chmod +x script.sh

Finally, execute your script by typing its name preceded by “./”:


In Conclusion

Shell scripting is an essential skill for Linux users and system administrators. It allows for automation, customization, and efficient execution of commands in a Linux environment.

By understanding Linux and mastering shell scripting, you can harness the power of this versatile combination for various tasks.

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