How to Record Your Work on the Command Line with the script(1) Command

Most Unix-like operating systems feature a script command. You can find its manual in script(1) (type man 1 script to access it). script records a transcript (“typescript,” not to be confused with the language TypeScript) of your current session in the command line.

The script command can be used as a way to log what you are doing in a shell session. It’s often used during troubleshooting, documentation, PCI compliance audits, security/remediation work, penetration tests, and other situations where it’s useful to record a play-by-play log of what you’re doing on the machine.


Practical Demonstration


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Shell Aliases

When working on Linux and Unix systems, you’ll often find yourself using long shell commands that you repeat several times per day (or per session). Things like

  • checking on the current resource usage of a system,
  • checking if a process has completed yet, or
  • using a complex group of commands, piped together with special options to give you just the output you want.

Generally, you’ll either use CTRL+R to search for these past commands in the shell’s history. Some of you may even copy useful commands to a special file that you can easily reference. You might even just enter them manually each time you need them, since you’re too lazy to be bothered.

There’s a simple solution that covers all of these cases well: Aliases.

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Sysadmin Links: Windows Package Management, SSH Wizardry, and Strategy Games!

Another episode of the “Sysadmin Timewasters” series just went up on YouTube. In this episode, we’re looking at several interesting projects:

0:01 Keep your eyes healthy!

3:01 How to choose a programming language:


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