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Old 8th October 2009, 10:36 PM
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cardinalsfan030 Offline
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Scripting Question

Hello Everyone, I am some what new to Fedora, but I do know my way around pretty good. I am currently taking a Linux (Fedora) class in college. This week was all about programming and scripting. I personally hate programming but its one of those things that is good to know.... anyways so here is my problem. I have to write a script to include the following:

You have to write a script that reads a list of user names. The script should also check if the user account exists. For this check to see if the user' home directory exists. If the user account does exist, then display a message stating so, if it does not exist, then create it with the following command
useradd -m account_name
In this command, account_name is the name of the user account and will be represented by a variable in your script. To properly test the script make sure that your list includes names that are on your system as well as names that do not exist.

Note: Since you are creating new accounts with this script, it will have to be run as root.

I already have the list made up and some accounts are on my computer and some are not. The biggest problem I am having with this is the code to see if the users home directory exists and what variable to use with adduser -m account_name.

If someone could please point me in the right direction or give me an example of how the script should be written. I had to do some basic If Then....Else If... Case....For Loop..... and While Loop scripts which were not a problem, this is the only one I am not sure about. Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 9th October 2009, 02:11 AM
ghostdog74 Offline
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so what have you been doing during class??
that aside, read here for bash scripting guide
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Old 9th October 2009, 02:39 AM
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cardinalsfan030 Offline
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Originally Posted by ghostdog74 View Post
so what have you been doing during class??
that aside, read here for bash scripting guide
Thanks for the guide and FYI I do most of my work in class, this has been one of the exceptions. all i really need is the best way to search for the users home folder. I pretty much know how to write everything else.
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Old 9th October 2009, 02:48 AM
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Assuming you're checking if USER's home dir exists:

if [ -d /home/"$USER" ]; then
echo "Directory exists..."
echo "Directory doesn't exist..."

Last edited by forkbomb; 9th October 2009 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 9th October 2009, 03:26 AM
jpollard Offline
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It is more reliable to extract the home directory from the passwd entry.

If you can use perl, just use the getpwnam function, then verify that the home directory exists...

a bit overkill, but partially created logins are known to happen.

The advantage of this is that users home directories may be located anywhere, not just "/home".
I worked at a large site (1200+ users), and we grouped them into /u/a/<user> /u/b/<user> /u/c/<user>
so that we could use one filesystem per group (not unix group - just an administrative grouping -
all users from division "a" were in /u/a, those from division "b" ...
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Old 12th October 2009, 02:07 PM
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DIvide & conquer:

1. Read input text file (bash)
2. Check user existence in /etc/passwd (grep beginning of line)
3. Check grep return code
3.1 If it does not exist, create new user (useradd)
3.2 Else, extract home dir (awk) from /etc/passwd line and check its existence (tjvanwyk covered this already)

P.S. awk maybe omitted in favour of pure bash syntax, e.g. converting the /etc/passwd line to an array (separating at colons)


echo ${name[5]}
Asus K55VD, i5 3230M - Productivity/Programming (F24)
Asus M32CD - i7-6700, Asus STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD, 1x8 GB Sk Hynix 2133 MHz DDR4 - Gaming (W10)
HP Proliant DL 360 G5 - Heavy lifting (CentOS 7.2)

Last edited by giulix; 12th October 2009 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Added array option
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Old 12th October 2009, 02:35 PM
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I thought that was straight forward I read the comment from jpollard (I'm but a learner myself).

One of the problems I had in learning this stuff is that one is not really learning "programming" as such when you learn, say, bash or python, etc. Really what your learning is logical thinking with a sort of coloured or flavoured tool set. The other side of the coin is understanding how the system your working on works - which in many ways is not really the same thing a shell scripting at all. For example, take IP tables, you can read the man pages and get the idea of what this or that acts like in the script, but if you don't take the time to learn something about the mechanical side of the iptables you could find yourself on the high road to a gaping security hole!

I mention this because it can be a point of real frustration in "programming", even though its not really in the programming side of it so far as language learning goes. It seems to me that if you can pretty well be exacting like in the example of giulix gave (divide and conqueror), and then simply type that up in bash words, you got it. The problem is, there is no logic that teaches you that /etc/paaswd might just be relevant to the matter, instead, experience and time seems to teach that.
The longer I run numerous Linux box's, the more I like it.

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