Linux Tactic

Mastering Bash Scripting: The Key to Efficient Automation

Introduction to Bash Scripting

Automation is a buzzword in the tech world, and it’s hard not to see why. Automating repetitive tasks can save you countless hours of manual labor.

When it comes to automation scripting, one of the most popular tools is Bash. Bash is a Unix shell, or command-line interface, that allows users to interact with their computer through text commands.

In this article, we will explore the basics of Bash scripting and how to use it to automate tasks. We’ll also look at automating user management with Bash scripting.

Bash Skills for Creating Automation Scripts

Before diving into Bash scripting, it’s essential to have some basic Bash skills. Bash is a powerful tool, and knowing how to navigate it will help you create more effective automation scripts.

Here are some essential Bash skills you should know:

– Navigating the command line interface using command line tools such as cd (change directory), ls (list directory contents), and pwd (print working directory). – Command line editing and history using shell shortcuts such as Ctrl-r (reverse search), Ctrl-a (move to the beginning of the line), and Ctrl-e (move to the end of the line).

– Basic commands such as echo (print text), cat (view

files), and mkdir (create a new directory). – Understanding Bash variables and environment variables, which allow you to store and access data in your scripts.

– Using Bash conditional statements such as if/else and case to control the flow of your scripts.

Importance of Automation in Bash Scripting

Automation is critical in Bash scripting, as it allows you to reduce errors and save time. By automating repetitive tasks, you can focus on more important tasks that require your attention.

For example, suppose you are a sysadmin responsible for managing multiple Linux servers. In that case, you might have to add a user to several servers at once.

Doing this manually would take hours, if not days. However, with Bash scripting, you can easily automate this task, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.

Automating User Management with Bash Script

One of the most common tasks that sysadmins perform is user management. As we mentioned earlier, adding a user to multiple servers can be a tedious and time-consuming task.

Bash scripting makes it easy to automate this task.

Creating a Text File for Server Hostnames or IP Addresses


first step in automating user management with Bash is to create a text

file that contains the hostnames or IP addresses of the servers on which you want to add a user. You can create this

file using a text editor such as Nano or Vim.

Using For Loop to Add a User to Multiple Servers via SSH

Once you have your text

file, you can use a for loop in your Bash script to loop through the server list and add the user to each server via SSH. Here’s an example Bash script that does just that:



# Set variables




# Loop through server list

while read server; do

# Add user via SSH

ssh root@$server “useradd $username -m -p $password”

done < $serverlist


In this script, we set some variables such as the username, password, and server list. We then use a while loop to read each line from the server list


Inside the loop, we use the ssh command to connect to each server and add the user via the useradd command.


In conclusion, Bash scripting is a powerful tool for automation. With the right skills and knowledge, you can automate repetitive tasks and save time.

User management is just one example of a task that can be automated with Bash scripting. By using a text

file and a for loop, you can easily add a user to multiple servers via SSH in just a few lines of code.

Automating Backups with Bash Script

As every company deals with critical data, developers and system administrators are always looking for ways to automate their backup process to ensure their data is safe. Bash scripting provides an easy way to automate backups and ensure that data is correctly saved across multiple storage systems.

In this section, we’ll dive deeper into how to create backups using Bash script.

Creating an Array for Backup Directories

One of the

first steps in creating backups with Bash script is to de

fine a list of directories that need to be backed up. A straightforward way to manage this is to store all the directory paths in an array.

Arrays are a common way to store data in Bash scripts, which allow you to store multiple pieces of data as a single variable.

Here is an example of how to de

fine an array of directories on your system to include in the backup script:



# Setting the array variable containing the directories you want to backup.

backup_dir=(“/var/www” “/etc/nginx” “/home/user/public_html”)

# Creating the Backup directory where all the backup

files will be stored. backup_location=”/home/user/backups”


In the script above, we de

fine an array variable named backup_dir.

The array contains three paths to directories that require backing up. We also set the backup location as a variable, where all the backup

files will be saved.

Zipping and Transferring Backup Files to Another Server via SCP

Once we have created a list of directories to be backed up, we need to archive them for storage. Archiving a backup helps to make the backup

files more manageable and easier to transport.

One way to archive the backups is by creating a gzipped tar archive using the `tar` and `gzip` commands.



backup_dir=(“/var/www” “/etc/nginx” “/home/user/public_html”)


backup_name=”$(date ‘+%Y_%m_%d_%H_%M_%S’).tar.gz”

mkdir -p “$backup_location”

tar -czvf “$backup_location/$backup_name” “${backup_dir[@]}”


In the script above, we de

fine the backup name to include a timestamp for easy identi


Once the backup script has

finished running, we can transfer the backup

files to another server using SCP. We must ensure that the storage system where we want to transfer the

files has already authorized the SSH key to connect to the primary server before running this script.



backup_dir=(“/var/www” “/etc/nginx” “/home/user/public_html”)


backup_name=”$(date ‘+%Y_%m_%d_%H_%M_%S’).tar.gz”





mkdir -p “$backup_location”

tar -czvf “$backup_location/$backup_name” “${backup_dir[@]}”

scp -P “$remote_ssh_port” “$backup_location/$backup_name”



In the above script, we include three new variables with details of the remote server, remote backup location, and the SSH port necessary for the transfer. After backing up the selected directories, we use `scp` to transfer the backup

files to remote servers.

Monitoring Available Disk Space

Apart from creating backups, it’s essential to monitor the available disk space on the

file system where backups are stored. If the disk space is signi

ficantly low, this can cause problems with creating new backups.

In this section, we’ll discuss how to monitor disk space using Bash scripts.

Using df Command to Check Remaining Space on File System

The `df` command allows us to return the total and available disk space for each mounted

file system on our system. Here’s an example:



# Setting alert threshold to 98%


# df command returns disk usage in a more human-readable format

df_status=$(df -h)

# The -P option changes the output to a

fixed width to make parsing more comfortable

df_status=$(df -P | awk ‘$1 != “Filesystem” && $1 != “none” {print $1 ” ” $5}’)

# We convert the percentage value to an integer using awk

df_status=$(echo “$df_status” | awk ‘{gsub(“%”,””); print $0}’ | awk ‘{print $1 ” ” $5+0}’)

for status in $df_status; do

used_percent=$(echo “$status” | awk ‘{print $2}’)

if [ “$used_percent” -ge “$alert_threshold” ]; then

echo “File system $(echo “$status” | awk ‘{print $1}’) is above the alert threshold of $alert_threshold% used.”




The script above sets an alert threshold of 98% and then uses `df -P` to return the disk usage statistics for each mounted

file system in the machine. The parser then converts the percentage value to an integer using awk and flags the

file system if the usage is above the alert threshold.

Sending Email Alert When Disk Space Usage is Above Threshold

Once the script is set up to monitor disk usage, we can con

figure our Bash script to send an email alert if the disk usage is above a certain threshold via SMTP. In a production environment, it is essential to include this functionality to ensure timely response.




email_recipients=”[email protected]

subject=”Alert! File system disk space usage at threshold.”


df_status=$(df -P | awk ‘$1 != “Filesystem” && $1 != “none” {print $1 ” ” $5}’)

df_status=$(echo “$df_status” | awk ‘{gsub(“%”,””); print $0}’ | awk ‘{print $1 ” ” $5+0}’)

for status in $df_status; do

used_percent=$(echo “$status” | awk ‘{print $2}’)

if [ “$used_percent” -ge “$alert_threshold” ]; then

message+=”File system $(echo “$status” | awk ‘{print $1}’) is above the alert threshold of $alert_threshold% used.n”



if [ “$message” != “” ]; then

echo -e “$message” | mail -s “$subject” “$email_recipients”



In the above script, we de

fine email recipients, subject text, and message text when the disk space alert threshold surpasses 98%. `mail` command is used to send email alerts where we set the subcommand value to be reflected in the email’s subject



In conclusion, Bash scripting is a powerful tool for automating backup tasks and monitoring disk usage on your system. By using Bash scripting, you can create automated backups that are compressed, archived and transferred easily to remote servers while keeping the disk usage under control.

Additionally, we can monitor disk usage, obtain statistics of mounted

file systems and set email alerts whenever disk utilization surpasses a predetermined limit.


Bash scripting provides a powerful tool for developers and system administrators to automate their tasks, saving time, and reducing the risk of error. The use of Bash scripting can be applied in various

fields to facilitate the ef

ficient use of computing resources and streamline productivity.

Encouraging the Use of Bash Scripting for Automation

There are many bene

fits to using Bash scripting for automation, including:

– The ability to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks like backups and

file transfers. – The opportunity to improve productivity by focusing on more important tasks that require human intervention.

– The reduction in the risk of errors associated with manual data entry. – The flexibility to customize scripts according to user needs and speci

fic tasks.

The use of Bash scripting for automation is not limited to developers or systems administrators. It can also be applied in other

fields, such as

finance or data analytics.

For example,

financial analysts can use Bash scripting to automate repetitive tasks such as downloading and cleaning

financial data sets. This can help to streamline the data analysis process and improve the accuracy of

financial models.

Availability of Entire Bash Beginner Series in PDF Format

To help users learn Bash scripting, we have created a Bash Beginner Series with step-by-step guides to Bash scripting for beginners. The series covers a wide range of topics, from basic syntax and variables to more advanced functions and features such as loops and conditional statements.

In addition to the online resources, the entire Bash Beginner Series is also available in PDF format for convenience. The PDF format allows users to access the information offline and review topics at their own pace.

To download the complete series in PDF format, users can visit our website or subscribe to our newsletter. The PDF version is ideal for users who prefer to learn offline or want to keep a copy of the series for future reference.


In conclusion, Bash scripting provides an excellent tool for automating tasks, increasing productivity, and reducing the risk of errors. By mastering the basics of Bash scripting, users can create powerful scripts that can automate nearly any task.

The availability of the Bash Beginner Series in PDF format provides users with a convenient and accessible resource to help them learn Bash scripting and become experts in automating tasks. With these resources, users can start developing Bash scripts to automate repetitive tasks and increase productivity today.

In conclusion, Bash scripting is a powerful tool for automating tasks and increasing productivity. By developing Bash skills and using automation scripts, users can save time and reduce the risk of errors associated with manual labor.

Whether it’s automating user management, creating backups, or monitoring disk space, Bash scripting provides a flexible and ef

ficient solution. The availability of the Bash Beginner Series in PDF format further enhances the learning experience and helps users become pro

ficient in Bash scripting.

Embracing Bash scripting and its automation capabilities can revolutionize workflows and empower individuals in various

fields. Start harnessing the power of Bash scripting today and unlock the full potential of automation.

Popular Posts