Emulating Shell Functions in Perl


Article from Issue 52/2005

Perl gives you better shell scripts. Sysadm::Install, a new module from CPAN, helps shell addicts let go of Bash.

System administration shell scripts are easily put together using just a few shell commands. An installation routine might use cp, mv, and chmod; a query script might depend upon grep, awk, or sed. If you need more, however, a shell script can start to become complex, or even ugly; and more times than not, you come to a dead end. The shell takes a very roundabout route to get to some places, and there are other places a shell script just can’t go. Creative programmers will always find an (admittedly obscure) way to work around the obstacles, and shells such as Bash, Ksh, and Tcsh have many features found in genuine programming languages. Also, if you prefer to avoid typing, standard Perl is not recommended for simple shell tasks. After all, who wants to have to enter something like the following:

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