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RootPrompt.org: Using expect for System Administration

Jul 12, 2000, 20:06 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Noel Davis)

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"Shell scripting is a very common tool used for a system administrator. Automating every task we can is one of the things that sets us apart as Unix System Admins. It allows us the time to work on the important things without staying bogged down in the minutia of running a system. In this article I will introduce you the very powerful though unusual scripting language Expect...."

"The part you should pay attention to is "Expect really makes this stuff trivial." Expect is an easy way to automate those tasks you end up doing again and again because they span different machines or because it requires more interaction than you can get easily from a bash/c/korn shell script. It was written by John Ousterhout and compiles on most if not all Unix machines."

"Expect is based on tcl, but is very usable without knowing hardly anything about tcl. Tool Command Language (TCL) was written as a standard scripting language to be included with utilities so people would not have to hack together their own languages. As for myself I have always been amazed that tcl could come out of the mind of a c programmer and have been glad that I could use expect without becoming a tcl expert."

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