O'Reilly logo

Linux® Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible by Richard Blum

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 10. More Structured Commands

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Looping with the for statement

  • Iterating with the until statement

  • Using while statement

  • Combining loops

  • Redirecting loop output

In the previous chapter, you saw how to manipulate the flow of a shell script program by checking the output of commands, and the values of variables. In this chapter, we'll continue to look at structured commands that control the flow of your shell scripts. You'll see how you can perform repeating processes, commands that can loop through a set of commands until an indicated condition has been met. This chapter discusses and demonstrates the for, while, and until bash shell looping commands.

The for Command

Iterating through a series of commands is a common programming practice. Often you need to repeat a set of commands until a specific condition has been met, such as processing all of the files in a directory, all of the users on a system, or all of the lines in a text file.

The bash shell provides the for command to allow you to create a loop that iterates through a series of values. Each iteration performs a defined set of commands using one of the values in the series. The basic format of the bash shell for command is:

for var in list
do
   commands
done

You supply the series of values used in the iterations in the list parameter. There are several different ways that you can specify the values in the list.

In each iteration, the variable var contains the current value in the list. The first iteration uses the ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required