Encyclopedia > Shell script

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Shell script

A shell script is a script or computer program written for the shell (command interpreter) of an operating system. Most commonly the term refers to scripts written for a Unix shell.

Shell scripts allow users to execute several programs with complex command line arguments with a single command. They are excellent for automating simple tasks.

Most shell scripts are written for the Bourne shell, since it (or a compatible variant) is available on all Unix systems. More complicated scripts are usually written in Perl; the exceptions are core system maintenance scripts, which cannot rely on the presence of Perl.

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