SSH & Bash Scripts

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

Text-based access to computing resources is common these days, both from local, and remote locations. In this lesson, we'll take a look at SSH and Bash, their similarities, and what makes them different.

Where Text Holds Sway

When it comes to computers these days, the trusty point and click of a mouse rules. We move through documents by dragging the scroll bar, we activate applications by clicking their icons, and we traverse various websites by clicking through their links. We can't escape it. It's the way current user interfaces function. But for some, this isn't the case. They live in a world where text is the medium of choice, and their mice haven't see the light of day. We're talking of course, about the command line. That text-only interface used by hackers and computer administrators alike. And their tools of choice, SSH and Bash.

What is SSH?

SSH is an acronym that represents Secure Shell. It is a piece of software that provides a secure remote connection between you and a shell (for example sh), or some other network resource. The connection supports text-based interaction, which is indicative of a shell. Security is provided in the form of encryption, or the ability to hide or obscure the information that is passed back and forth between you and the shell. This capability is normally used in situations where remote access is needed, and the operations to be performed are best done through the text-based interface.

What is Bash?

Bash is another acronym. It represents Bourne-Again-Shell, and is named after the original inventor of the UNIX shell (sh), Stephen Bourne. Like sh, bash is a shell program and provides text-based login and command line capabilities to its users. In fact, it was originally designed as a compatible alternative to sh. A command line is a method for entering text commands and having them executed by the operating system. The commands available vary and range from simple file listing to hard disk formatting (preparing the hard disk to hold information).

What is a Bash Script?

A bash script is a text file that contains a series of bash commands. When invoked, the commands enclosed by the script are executed, one-by-one, until the end of the file is reached. The operating system performs each command until completion, and then moves onto the next. This gives you the ability to perform some very complex activities, in an automated fashion. There are many possible bash scripts, and they can perform almost anything the computer system can. They are only limited by your imagination, and the commands the system has available.

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