Top Shell Scripting Interview Questions And Answers 

Shell scripting is an advanced interface that a programmer can…

Shell scripting is an advanced interface that a programmer can use to develop valuable scripts.

The scripting language has many features that help the programmer find creative solutions to practical problems. What makes shell scripting even more unique is the level of automation it offers to programmers.

If you’re applying to a programmer job or an IT firm, chances are you’ll be asked some scripting interview questions

We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions asked about shell scripting, and their answers. This can help you prepare for your upcoming scripting interview adequately.

Interviewers love to see how candidates deal with tricky questions and how well they demonstrate their knowledge of the shell language. Let’s see some of the scripting interview questions to expect. 

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Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

Basic Shell Scripting Interview Questions

1. What is a shell?

Shell is a command-line interpreter that translates user-entered commands into kernel-understandable language. It is an interface between the kernel and the user.

A system can run multiple shells at once, even if only one kernel exists. Anytime a user types a command the shell communicates with the kernel to execute it. The output is then shown to the user.

2. What is a Shell Scripting?

Shell Scripting is an open-source computer software created to be run by the Unix/Linux shell. The program allows you to create a list of commands the shell will carry out.

It can consolidate complex and repetitive sequences of commands into a single, easy-to-execute script. This script can be stored and run whenever necessary, which reduces programming efforts.

3. Why is a shell script needed?

There are several reasons to write shell scripts, including:

  • Limiting the number of repetitive tasks you do.
  • System administrators may use it for regular backups.
  • Keeping an eye on the system.
  • Expanding the shell’s capabilities.
  • By using shell scripting, you can create your tools.
  • A system administrator can automate routine tasks.

4. Write some advantages of shell scripting.

The advantages of shell scripting are as follows:

  • A quick start and interactive debugging tool.
  • Since both commands and syntax are the same as those entered straight into the command line, programmers do not need to adjust their syntax.
  • Shell scripts are quick to write and simple to utilize.
  • It saves time by automating administrative duties.
  • Shell scripts can be executed without additional effort on practically all current operating systems. This includes UNIX, Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X, which are written in an interpreted language.
  • Instead of single instructions, they can be used for mass execution.
  • You can use it to create a unique operating system with the necessary functionality.
  • With the help of this tool, software applications can be created in accordance with their respective platforms.

5. What is a superblock in shell scripting?

A superblock is a program that contains specific file systems’ records. Size, counts of filled and empty blocks, block group size, and the location of inode tables are among the features available in the block.

6. What are the commonly used shells on a typical Linux system.

C-shell and Bourne shell are the two basic types of Linux shells. Their derivatives are:

  • C-shell: Z-Shell, TENEX C-Shell.
  • Bourne shell: Bourne-Again Shell, Korn Shell, POSIX Shell, 

7. What are the four stages of the Linux Process.

The four steps in the Linux process are as follows:

  • Waiting: The Linux process is awaiting the resource.
  • Running: The Linux process is active.
  • Stopped: Following successful completion, the Linux process has been terminated.
  • Zombie: Here, the Linux process is still active but has stopped.

8. Give the purpose of the shebang line.

At the top of each script is the shebang line, which is used to determine the engine’s location and execute the script.

9. Define Shell Variable.

A shell script or program’s fundamental component is a shell variable. The variable enables the shell to manipulate the data that is stored within a shell application. Usually, it is stored in a string variable.

10. How many shells and are available in the UNIX environment?

Although there may be a number of available shells, the UNIX environment only has one kernel.

11. What is the alternative command for echo?

Tput is an alternative command for echo. With the help of this command, you can manage how the output is shown on the screen.

12. What is a metacharacter?

A metacharacter is a special character that is part of a shell’s program or data field. It provides details about other characters. Use the command ”ls s*” to list all files beginning with the character “s.” 

Intermediate Shell Scripting Interview Questions

  • What are the disadvantages of shell scripting?
  • What do you understand by GUI scripting?
  • Tell us about the ”$#” used in shell scripting.
  • Name standard streams in Linux.
  • Explain Crontab.
  • Differentiate between $@ and $*.

Wrap Up

Interviews can be intimidating realities of a job search, and speaking up confidently is key to succeeding. Preparing beforehand is the best course of action for enhancing your chances of getting the job. The commonly asked scripting interview questions above are examples of what any interviewer might ask you, so you must practice them properly. 

Frequently asked questions

What is >& 2 in shell script?

If +&2 means send the output to STDERR, then it will print the message as an error on the console.

Top Shell Scripting Interview Questions And Answers 

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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