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You are here: System->Tips and Tricks

Using script

This tip shows you how to use script as a way to store or share everything printed during a terminal session. This can be a great way to remotely demonstrate command-line Linux to a less experienced user. Alternatively, it's a good way to keep a record of everything you do (or did) for a specific session.

First we'll look at keeping a record of everything. The can be done by just issuing the command script. The output of your session will be written to a file named typescript. If you want to specify a file other than the default, use script file where file is the name of the file storing the session.

Code Listing 1: Creating a script session

% script  
Script started, file is typescript  
% uptime  
 13:27:53 up 89 days,  3:50,  1 user,  load average: 0.27, 0.35, 0.29  
% uname -srvmpio  
Linux 2.4.20-gentoo-r4 #1 SMP Fri May 9 08:54:35 EDT 2003 i686 Intel(R) Xeon(TM)  
 CPU 2.00GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux  
% exit  
Script done, file is typescript

The session file can be reviewed later with a pager such as more, less, or cat.

Code Listing 2: Viewing a script session

% more typescript  
Script started on Wed Aug  6 13:27:47 2003  
% uptime  
 13:27:53 up 89 days,  3:50,  1 user,  load average: 0.27, 0.35, 0.29  
% uname -srvmpio  
Linux 2.4.20-gentoo-r4 #1 SMP Fri May 9 08:54:35 EDT 2003 i686 Intel(R) Xeon(TM)  
 CPU 2.00GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux  
% exit  
  
Script done on Wed Aug  6 13:28:01 2003

Now we'll look at sharing a terminal session. The easiest way to do this is combining script with mkfifo (which creates a named pipe). Note that you need to use the -f option (script -f) to flush output after each write. This way, the terminal can be written to by User A and viewed in (near) real time by User B.

Code Listing 3: User A's terminal

% mkfifo demo; script -f demo  
Script started, file is demo  
% echo 'Hello World'  
Hello World  
% exit  
Script done, file is demo  

Note: User A's terminal will wait for input until User B issues the cat command (or accesses the named pipe).

Code Listing 4: User B's terminal

% cat demo  
Script started on Wed Aug  6 13:48:51 2003  
% echo 'Hello World'  
Hello World  
% exit  
  
Script done on Wed Aug  6 13:49:04 2003

There are many other ways script could be used - hopefully this will give you some ideas to get you started.

From http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20030811-newsletter.xml


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