Write scripts that don't actually do anything
brian_s 270002K5X3 Comments (3) Visits (3292)
What do I mean by scripts that don't actually do anything? I'm suggesting that in some cases it makes sense to write scripts that don't make any changes to the system. Instead, the output of the script is the list of commands that need to be run for the change to be made. After you have reviewed the commands the script generated you can then actually run the commands to make the changes. I picked this technique up from a coworker (Thanks Merrill!)
To actually make the changes on your system you can either copy/paste the command lines the script generated, or if there is a lot of output, you can redirect the output of your script to a file. You can then review the file and if it looks correct run the commands in the file by using a command such as ksh ./outputfile or bash ./outputfile
I like to use this technique for any scripts I am writing that are making intrusive changes on critical systems.
Here are some of the reasons why:
The best of both worlds.
It is very easy to take the script and actually have it make the changes on the system without your intervention. Maybe you feel confident in the script after running it many times or perhaps you are on a test/dev system which isn't that important. All you have to do to actually have the script make the changes is pipe its output to the shell interpretor.
The script will run and output the commands that need to be run and the shell will read this from the pipeline and actually run the commands.