Unix If

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unix if -n
unix if -s
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Keyword Suggestions

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In order for a script to be very useful, you will need to be able to test the conditions of variables. Most programming and scripting languages have some sort of if/else expression and so does the bourne shell. Unlike most other languages, spaces are very important when using an if statement. Let's do a simple script that will ask a user for a password before allowing him to continue. This is obviously not how you would implement such security in a real system, but it will make a good example of using if and else statements.

The Unix shell is often overlooked by software developers more familiar with higher level languages. This is unfortunate because the shell can be one of the most important parts of a developer’s toolkit. From the one-off grep search or sed replacement in your source tree to a more formal script for deploying or backing up an entire application complete with options and error handling, the shell can be a huge time saver.