Tom Ordonez

Data Science, Machine Learning, Growing Teams

Bash Script Tutorial

In this bash script tutorial you will learn the basics to create bash scripts.

Bash Script Tutorial

Bash Script Environment

In this bash script tutorial I am using Linux. But you can also use a Mac and perhaps Windows.

Bash Script Linux

My preference is creating bash scripts in Linux. Although I have the feeling that if you are in Linux you already know some Bash :)

If you are not using Bash. Maybe you know some Linux commands? If not no problem. First find where bash is installed in your system.

Open the terminal and type:

which $BASH

It might say:


If you are on Mac it might say:


Keep this in mind for later.

Vim Text Editor

I love Vim because it has a mouse free environment and helps you become hyperfocused. Although Vim has kind of a steep learning curve.

Installing Vim on Ubuntu Linux:

sudo apt install vim

Installing Vim on Fedora Linux:

sudo dnf install vim

Installing Vim on Mac:

brew install vim

Although keep in mind that for the Mac to use brew you need to install homebrew. Just go to Homebrew and copy paste the command shown on the homepage into the terminal.

Sublime Text Editor

Sublime is less geek and it looks just like any program. You can download it from here.

Bash Script Windows

What I recommend is to install Linux using Virtualbox. A video will soon be posted here.

Bash Script Basics

Create a new file either and save it as Yeah it ends with .sh.

In the first line type in the location of bash.

For Linux bin bash is often:


For Mac bin bash is often:


The character #! is called a shebang or a hashbang.

What follows the shebang is the location of bash binaries. In other words it tells the file what you want to execute the file with Bash.

Bash script simple silly example

It's downhill from here :)

Below the bin bash line enter a new line and add this line:

echo "Hello"

With bin bash on Linux:

echo "Hello"

Or with bin bash on Mac:

echo "Hello"

Save and close the file.

Change the bash script file to execute

Go back to the terminal and change directories to where the file is.

Type this command to make the bash script executable:

chmod +x

Execute this simple silly bash script example

On the terminal type this to execute this bash script example:


This means to execute in the current directory.

The result should be:


These are other advanced examples

How to declare variables and initialize some to zero.

declare -i filenumber=0
declare -i sponsornumber=0
declare -i counter=0
declare -i directory_size

Assign a string to a variable


Calculate the directory size where the files are stored

directory_size="$(ls -l ./ | grep 'jpg' | wc -l)"

Rename files in the directory to a random number

for file in *.jpg; do
  mv "$file" "$number$filetype"

Use a random number within a range

Random number from 1 to 10:

number="$(((RANDOM % 10) + 1))"

Random number from 1 to 100:

number="$(((RANDOM % 100) + 1))"

Rename files into a sequential number 1, 2, 3...etc

for file in *.jpg; do
  filenumber="$(($filenumber + 1))"
  mv "$file" "$filenumber$filetype"

Insert files at intervals in current directory

Copy files in this sequence: 2, 8, 14...etc. The sequence requires the algorithm: `2 + (6 * n) The files are copied like this: 2a, 8a, 14a.

while [ $counter -lt $directory_size ]; do
  sponsornumber="$(((6 * $counter) + 2))"
  cp sponsor_directory/sponsor_file.jpg "$sponsornumber"a"$filetype"
  counter="$(($counter + 1))"

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