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Tip: Using Autoexpect to Create Interactive Scripts in Linux

Scripting Interactive Tasks

May 24, 2010

Juliet Kemp

I recently came across expect (the expect package in Debian and Ubuntu): a powerful utility that can script interactive operations.

" If you're not familiar with TCL syntax, you can get autoexpect from This spawns a shell, and then records everything you do in that shell. Hit Ctrl-C when you're done, and then either run the generated expect script as-is, or edit it to tidy it up a bit. In particular, autoexpect records keystrokes one by one, whereas you can put them all in at once. It records the full prompt, where the $ at the end may suffice.

Here's an example of a script generated with autoexpect then tidied-up. It logs into a server...

Read the rest of this Linux scripting tip at

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