Most Used Bash Script Commands [The Ultimate Review]

Bash scripting is a gateway to unlocking the true potential of the Linux command line interface. Within this realm, a collection of indispensable commands has emerged as the backbone of countless scripts and workflows. From automating tasks to manipulating data, these most used Bash script commands empower users to streamline operations and enhance productivity. I will explore these essential tools in this article, unveiling their functionalities and practical applications. Prepare to harness the power of Bash scripting and take your command line experience to new heights.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting familiar with the most used bash script commands.
  • Getting an overview of the options and syntax of commands used in bash scripting.

Command: Prime Part of Bash Scripting

A bash script contains several parts, including shebang, bin/bash then the most crucial part, commands. The command determines what type of task will be accomplished by executing the command. There are several types of commands to use in bash scripting. You can use the for loop, the if elif conditions, etc, in the bash script.

List of Most Used Bash Script Commands

Some mostly used Bash script commands are listed below. After going through these commands, you will have a better grasp of the command line to automate things effortlessly.

01. ls — List Directory Contents

The most often used command is certainly ls. You’ll frequently be working in a directory and need to be aware of the files that are present there. You may browse through every directory file using the ls command.

Syntax

ls [option] [file]

Options: -a, -l.

To learn more read: The “ls” Command in Linux [7+ Practical Examples]

02. echo — Prints Text to the Terminal Window

The echo command is typically used in batch files and shell scripts to output status text to the screen or a computer file. The echo prints text to the terminal window. It is also beneficial for displaying environmental variable values and instructing the shell how to respond while a user types commands or runs scripts.

Syntax

echo [option(s)] [string(s)]

Options: -e, -n.

To learn more read: The “echo” Command in Linux [7 Practical Examples]

03. touch — Creates a File

The simplest method for producing new files will be using the touch command, which may also be used to update the timestamps of existing files and/or folders. Without worrying about replacing files with the same name, you can create as many files as you like in a single operation.

Syntax

touch [option] file_name

Options: -a, -m, -r, -d.

To learn more read: The “touch” Command in Linux [8 Practical Examples]

04. mkdir — Create a Directory

A helpful command for making directories executing bash script is the mkdir command. The process can be significantly sped up by simultaneously creating any number of directories.

Syntax

mkdir [option] directory_name

Options: -m, -p, -v.

To learn more read: The “mkdir” Command in Linux [6+ Practical Examples]

05. grep — Search for Pattern

Text can be searched using the grep command for user-specified patterns. One of the most influential and beneficial commands is this one. Often, you’ll be requested to search for a specific string or pattern within a file but you will need to know where to begin. In these situations, grep is helpful.

Syntax

grep [option] pattern [file]

Options: -i, -c, -n.

To learn more read: The “grep” Command in Linux [10+ Practical Examples]

06. pwd — Print Working Directory

The current directory you are in may be printed with the pwd command. The pwd will inform you of the precise directory you are working in, for instance, if you are using different terminals and need to keep track of it while executing the bash script.

Syntax

pwd [option]

To learn more read, The “pwd” Command in Linux [4 Practical Examples]

07. cd — Change Directory

To receive information about, work with, read, etc., the many files and directories on your system, use the cd command to change the directory you’re now in.

Syntax

cd [option(s)] directory

To learn more read: The “cd” Command in Linux [6 Practical Examples]

08. mv — Move or Rename the Directory

To move or rename folders, use the mv command. By incorporating this in Bash script, it would be easier to rename each file manually. You can batch rename files using mv, which may save you a lot of time.

Syntax

mv [option] argument

Options: -i, -b.

To learn more read: The “mv” Command in Linux [8 Practical Examples]

09. rmdir — Remove Directory

The rmdir command will remove empty directories. This can help keep files and folders organized and free up space on your computer. Remember that there are two methods for removing directories: rm and rmdir. The difference between the two is that rmdir just gets rid of empty directories, whereas rm gets rid of files and directories regardless of whether they contain data.

Syntax

rmdir [option] directory_names

Options: -p.

To learn more read: The “rmdir” Command in Linux [7 Practical Examples]

10. locate — Locate a Specific File or Directory

The locate command is the simplest method for locating a file or directory. If you’re unsure precisely what you’re looking for, keep your search broad or focus it using wildcards or regular expressions.

Syntax

locate [option] file_name

Options: -q, -n, -i.

To learn more read: The “locate” Command in Linux [7 Practical Examples]

11. less — View the Contents of a Text File

You may inspect files without launching an editor by using the less command. It is easier to use and there is no possibility of unintentional file modification.

Syntax

less file_name

Options: -e, -f, -n.

To learn more read: The “less” Command in Linux [10 Practical Examples]

12. cat — Read a file, Create a File, and Concatenate files

The cat command concatenates files and prints on the standard output.

Syntax

cat [option] [file_name]

Options: -n.

To learn more read: The “cat” Command in Linux [10 Practical Examples]

13. head — Read the Start of a File

The head command, by default, only shows the top 10 lines of a file. The head enables you to swiftly scan a few lines in a file when you occasionally need to. For instance, when you need to study logs or text files that often change, this is a common situation where the head might be helpful.

Syntax

head [option] file

Options: -n.

To learn more, read: The “head” Command in Linux [7 Practical Examples]

14. tail — Read the End of a File

The tail command, by default, only shows the last 10 lines of a file. You may need to scan a few lines in a file swiftly; the tail makes that possible. For instance, when you need to study logs or text files that change regularly, the tail might be helpful.

Syntax

tail [option] file_names

Options: -n.

To learn more read: The “tail” Command in Linux [7 Practical Examples]

15. chmod — Sets the File Permissions Flag on a File or Folder

You may run into scenarios when you or a coworker tries to upload a file or edit a document, and you get a message saying you don’t have access permission. Using the chmod command will solve this problem quickly. Alphanumeric characters (u, g, and o) can be used to set permissions for users, group users, and other users, respectively. And w, r, and x can designate writing, reading, and executing access. Alternatively, you can alter the permissions using octal numbers (0–7).

Syntax

chmod [option] permissions file_name

Options: -f, -v.

To learn more read: The “chmod” Command in Linux [6 Practical Examples]

16. exit — Exit Out of a Home Directory

A terminal window will close, a shell script will stop running, or you will be logged out of an SSH remote access session with the exit command.

Syntax

exit

To learn more read: The “exit” Command in Linux [5 Practical Examples]

17. history — List Your Most Recent Commands

The history is an essential command for rapidly identifying previous commands you’ve used before executing the bash script.

Syntax

history

Options: -c, -d.

To learn more read: The “history” Command in Linux [6 Practical Examples]

18. clear — Clear Your Terminal Window

This command erases all previous input and output from terminal windows and consoles. So that you can concentrate on the following commands and bash scripts’ results, this keeps your terminal tidy and clears out the clutter.

Syntax

clear

To learn more read: The “clear” Command in Linux [3 Practical Examples]

19. cp — Copy Files and Directories

When you need to backup your files, use the cp command in the bash script.

Syntax

cp [option] current_name new_name

Options: -r, -i, -b.

To learn more read: The “cp” Command in Linux [6 Practical Examples]

20. kill — Terminate Stalled Processes

You may end a process while executing bash script with the kill command. Giving the process ID (PID) of the process you want to terminate accomplishes this. You may use the ps command and the arguments -aux to discover the PID.

Syntax

kill [signal or option] PID

Options: -p.

To learn more read: The “kill” Command in Linux [4+ Practical Examples]

21. sleep — Delay a Process for a Specified Amount of Time

The sleep command is often used in shell scripts to manage tasks. The suffix, which might be s (seconds), m (minutes), or d (days), is used to designate the unit of time in the grammar, as you’ll see. Unless otherwise stated, the default unit of time is seconds.

Syntax

sleep number [suffix]

To learn more read: The “sleep” Command in Linux [10 Practical Examples]

Conclusion

The most used Bash script commands offer essential functionality for scriptwriters. These commands enable tasks like printing text, adding conditions, automating repetitive tasks, searching patterns, and managing file permissions. Mastering these commands empowers users to streamline processes and automate tasks effectively.

People Also Ask

Is bash scripting a command line?
A file containing a succession of commands is called a bash script. The bash software reads and processes these. The code executes line by line. On the other hand, the command line, for instance, may be used to navigate a certain path, create a folder, and launch processes.

Why is bash used?
Tasks like code compilation, source code debugging, change management, and software testing may all be automated with Bash. Network engineers use Bash on corporate networks to test, configure, and improve network performance.

What type of file is a bash script?
A Bash script is a plain text file with a set of commands inside of it. The commands are a combination of ones users typically enter on the command line, like ls or cp, for instance.

What is the bash shell command?
Bash is an example of a command processor that generally runs in a text window where the user writes commands to perform tasks. Shell scripts contain commands that may be read and executed by Bash.

Is bash a compiler?
Shell scripts are directly converted into binaries using the Bash Shell Script Compiler. You can prevent unintentional changes by compiling your scripts, but you’ll have to put up with a few particulars.

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Susmit Das Gupta

Hello everyone. I am Susmit Das Gupta, currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I am a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Besides my routine works, I find interest in going through new things, exploring new places, and capturing landscapes. Read Full Bio

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