Abstract: Many common and repetitive tasks can be eased using simple Bourne Shell tools. Building blocks can provide the basis for creating solutions for remote system administration, file maintenance, and periodic monitoring. This tutorial provides some examples of building blocks that can be used to build tools without extensive programming experience.
This is not intended to be a language training session or reference. By showing some practical examples it can inspire use and important language elements will be highlighted.
Why use Bourne Shell? It is the only scripting language guaranteed to be available on all Unix platforms. Other languages can be installed, but can't be counted on in a mixed vendor, multi-department, distributed environment.
Korn, Born-Again (aka bash), and other shells have added features but can't be depended on to be available. As long as you use the Bourne Shell features the script should run on all compliant extensions. /bin/sh has done the job on every system I have tried except Ultrix which didn't support subroutines unless the system V version was explicitly used. Most of these samples are derived from real, working examples. They have been modified for content and to fit on the foils, so there may be some typographical errors.