The Limits of Shell Scripting

A large amount of the basic infrastructure of the SUSE system rests on shell scripts. In particular, the whole i nit and runlevel system depends on a large number of interdependent shell scripts. These also read from files under /etc/sysconfig/ and elsewhere. They make heavy use of such basic standard commands as awk, sed, and grep and work very efficiently.

However, as a user or system administrator, you may not necessarily consider that shell scripts are the easiest or most elegant way to execute some logic to get something done. In general, shell scripts are best for the kinds of things they commonly do: relatively small scripts working at a fairly low level. For more complex tasks, people often turn to one of the dedicated scripting languages. In practice, that probably means Perl, Python, or Ruby. If you are interested in creating dynamic web content, you may choose from the PHP inline scripting languages as well as CGI scripts written in either Perl or Python.

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