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Essentials of Bash Scripting: Using Loops

Oct 22, 2010, 13:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)

"An essential rule of system administration: If you need to do something often, try to write a script to do it for you. If you need to do something several times within a script, you'll need to be able to use loop statements to repeat something until done. With GNU Bash, you'll do this with for, while, and until statements.

"If you've done any programming, you're probably familiar with these statements already. If you're like me, and were introduced to bash scripting without benefit of a programming background, they might not be quite so obvious. Let's start by explaining the differences between the statements, and then move on to examples.

"The for loop is used to iterate through an action until done. Let's say you have a directory full of images that you want to convert from one format to another. You could use a for loop and ImageMagick's convert (or another program) to convert JPEG images into PNG format, for instance. Or create a script to take a directory full of MP3s or WAV files and convert to Ogg Vorbis."

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