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Fedora® Bible 2011 Edition: Featuring Fedora® Linux® 14 by Eric Foster-Johnson, Christopher Negus

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Chapter 11: Automating System Tasks

In This Chapter

  • Understanding shell scripts
  • Initializing the system
  • Starting up and shutting down the system
  • Scheduling system tasks

Y ou’d never get any work done if you typed every command that needs to be run on your Fedora system when it starts. Likewise, you could work more efficiently if you grouped together sets of commands that you run all the time. Shell scripts can handle these tasks.

A shell script is a group of commands, functions, variables, or just about anything else you can use from a shell. These items are typed into a plain-text file. That file can then be run as a command. Fedora uses system initialization shell scripts during system startup to run commands needed to get things going. You can create your own shell scripts to automate the tasks you need to do regularly.

This chapter provides a rudimentary overview of the inner workings of shell scripts and how they can be used. You learn how simple scripts can be harnessed to a scheduling facility (such as cron or at) to simplify administrative tasks.

You also learn to fine-tune your machine to start at the most appropriate run level and to run only services you need. With that understanding, you’ll be able to personalize your computer and reduce the amount of time you spend repetitively typing the same commands.

Understanding Shell Scripts

Have you ever had to repeatedly do a task that took a lot of typing on the command line? Do you ever think to yourself, “I wish there ...

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