What Is the Use of Shell Scripting in DevOps?


Heather Bennett

Shell scripting is a powerful tool in the world of DevOps. It allows developers and system administrators to automate tasks, streamline processes, and improve efficiency.

By using shell scripts, you can execute a series of commands in a specific order without manual intervention. This article will delve into the various use cases of shell scripting in DevOps and explore its benefits.

Automating Repetitive Tasks

One of the primary uses of shell scripting in DevOps is automating repetitive tasks. Whether it’s deploying code, configuring servers, or running tests, there are numerous tasks that need to be performed repeatedly. Writing shell scripts enables you to automate these tasks, saving time and effort.


Lets consider an example where you have to deploy your application on multiple servers every time there is an update. Instead of manually logging into each server and performing the deployment steps, you can write a shell script that does it for you.

  • Create a new shell script file: Use the command touch deploy.sh to create a new shell script file.
  • Edit the shell script: Open the file in a text editor and write the necessary deployment commands such as pulling updates from a repository, building and deploying the application.
  • Make the script executable: Use the command chmod +x deploy.sh to make the script executable.
  • Run the script: Execute the script using ./deploy.sh. It will run all the deployment steps automatically on all specified servers.

Maintaining Infrastructure as Code

In DevOps, infrastructure as code (IaC) is an approach where infrastructure configurations are managed through code. Shell scripting plays a crucial role in maintaining infrastructure as code by allowing you to automate the provisioning and configuration of servers.


Lets say you are using a cloud provider’s API to provision servers for your application. Instead of manually creating servers through the provider’s web interface, you can write a shell script that interacts with the API and creates the required servers automatically.

  • Install the necessary tools: Use package managers like apt-get or yum to install tools like curl, wget, or jq.
  • Write the shell script: Use these tools and their respective commands to interact with the API, authenticate, create servers, and configure them as needed.
  • Execute the script: Run the shell script using ./provision_servers. It will automate the entire process of provisioning servers according to your code-defined configurations.

Simplifying Deployment Pipelines

In DevOps, deployment pipelines are used to automate software delivery processes. Shell scripting plays a vital role in simplifying deployment pipelines by enabling you to define and execute various stages of the pipeline.


Lets consider a typical deployment pipeline with stages such as building, testing, and deploying an application. Instead of manually executing each stage, you can write shell scripts that automate these processes.

  • Create separate shell scripts for each stage: Write separate shell scripts for building, testing, and deploying your application.
  • Configure the pipeline: Use a pipeline orchestration tool like Jenkins or GitLab CI/CD to configure the stages and execute the respective shell scripts.
  • Trigger the pipeline: Whenever there is a new code commit or a trigger event, the pipeline will start automatically and execute the shell scripts for each stage.


In conclusion, shell scripting is a valuable tool in DevOps that allows for automation of repetitive tasks, maintenance of infrastructure as code, and simplification of deployment pipelines. By leveraging shell scripting, you can improve productivity, reduce human errors, and ensure consistent and reliable execution of processes in your DevOps workflows.

So go ahead and explore the power of shell scripting in DevOps. Start writing your own scripts today!