What is Bash Scripting? [A Quick Overview]

Errors are common when performing repetitive tasks manually, regardless of how careful you are. In this situation, you would prefer to perform these types of tasks using only a few lines of code. In Unix and Unix-like operating systems you can use scripting to automate tasks. Bash scripting is the process of writing and running scripts containing commands using a shell, a command-line interpreter or an interface available in Unix-like operating systems. In this article, I’ll give you a quick overview of what is Bash scripting.

Key Takeaways

  • Learning what is Bash scripting.
  • Exploring how to identify Bash scripts.
  • Knowing the difference between Bash and Bash scripting.
  • Learning how Bash scripts work.

So What are They Exactly?

A bash script is essentially a text file containing a series of commands. Thus, bash scripting is the process of creating and running scripts using the Bourne Again Shell (Bash) programming language. All of those commands can be included in a Bash script file that you can run from the terminal. You can organise any series of terminal commands into a Bash script in a text file with a .sh extension, then it will execute in that order. The shell executes the commands in the scripts sequentially.

In a Bash script, you can include a variety of commands, such as system commands, shell built-in commands, and external programs. You can also use control structures like loops and conditional to control the flow of execution, as well as variables to store and manipulate data. Additionally, Bash scripts support functions, input/output redirection, error handling, and more, making them versatile for various scripting needs.

To summarize, you will use Bash scripting often for system administration, software installation and configuration, data processing, log parsing, backup and restore operations, and automation of repetitive tasks. In simple words, bash scripts provide a convenient way to combine and execute commands, enabling users to streamline workflows and customise their computing environments.

How to Identify a Bash Script?

Now as you got the basic idea of bash scripting, how will you identify a bash script? You can easily do so by looking for a few key characteristics:

  • File Extension: Generally Bash scripts have a “.shfile extension, although it is not strictly required.
  • Shebang line: The first line of a Bash script usually starts with a shebang (“#!”) followed by the path to the Bash interpreter. For example, “#!/bin/bash” indicates that the script should be executed using the Bash interpreter.
  • Script contents: The contents of the file will contain commands and instructions written in the Bash scripting language. Bash executes these commands sequentially when you run the script.
  • Execution permissions: To be able to execute a Bash script, the file must have the execution permissions set. You can check the file permissions using the “ls -l” command, and if the script lacks execution permissions, you can use the “chmod +x scriptname.sh” command to grant them. Moreover, the executable bash scripts appear in a different color than other files.

By examining these characteristics, you can easily identify a Bash script.

Bash vs. Bash Scripting

Bash is a command language and Unix shell, widely used in Linux and Unix-based operating systems. It provides a command-line interface for interacting with the operating system, running programs, and manipulating files and directories. Bash has a number of features, including the ability to edit commands in the command line, manage jobs, run shell scripts, and more. For running commands, controlling processes, and navigating the file system, it functions as a strong interactive shell.

On the other hand, Bash scripting is writing and running scripts using the Bash shell. It involves creating scripts in the Bash programming language, a scripting language that enhances the Bash shell’s functionality. By writing a series of commands, statements, and control structures in a Bash script, users can automate tasks, carry out system administration tasks, and create complex programs.

In summary, Bash is the shell program itself, offering interactive shell functionality and a command-line interface. Contrarily, bash scripting is the practice of creating programs and automating tasks using scripts written specifically in the Bash programming language. So, Bash scripting is a subset of the larger Bash environment.

How Bash Scripting Works

All programming languages work in a similar way. A program is a blob of binary data typically stored on your hard drive and consists of a set of instructions for the CPU and additional resources. When you run a program, it is compiled and turned into machine code that the computer can understand and execute.

In the case of Bash scripting, scripts written on Bash are executed by the Bash interpreter, which reads and interprets the commands in the script, line by line. Each line can contain a command or a series of commands that are executed sequentially by the bash interpreter, much like a program.


Bash scripting is an effective tool for managing systems, automating processes, and developing unique solutions. It enables users to take advantage of the operating system’s features and efficiently interact with the command-line interface. Users can increase their productivity, automate repetitive duties, and fully utilise the command-line interface in Unix-like systems by becoming proficient in Bash scripting. Furthermore, learning bash scripting makes it possible to design unique solutions, streamline processes and effectively manage systems.

People Also Ask

What is Bash script Used for?
A bash script is used to perform a series of tasks. For example, navigating to a particular directory, creating new folders or directories, launching processes and automating tasks.

Is Bash Scripting the same as Python?
No. Bash is a shell scripting language, used in Unix-like operating systems. On the other hand, python is a general-purpose language that you can use in a wide range of applications. Bash has limited syntax compared to Python.

What is Bash Scripting in windows?
Bash is a command line environment through which the users can interact with an operating system. It is the default shell for many unix-like operating systems such as Linux and MacOS. Similarly, Windows has Powershell by default, which you can use for management and scripting language.

Is Bash Script easy?
Learning Bash Scripting is really easy, as it has a relatively simple and straightforward syntax and uses simple constructs like variables, loops, conditionals, and command execution. Also, If you are already familiar with using the Bash shell interactively, you may find it easier to transition to Bash scripting.

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Lamisa Musharrat

Hello there. My name is Lamisa Musharat, and I'm an Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I earned a bachelor's degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).I learned Linux out of my curiosity and now I find it useful as automation is easier using Linux. I take great pleasure in assisting others with Linux-related issues. I really want you to enjoy and benefit from my efforts.Read Full Bio

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